Hibiscus leads penny oil stocks up

KUALA LUMPUR: Hibiscus Petroleum led penny oil and gas stocks higher in active trade on Wednesday, riding on fresh corporate news and the oil price rally, which was near its largest third-quarter gain in 13 years.

However, the optimism did not spill over to the blue chips and broader market ahead of the US Federal Reserve announcement later as the FBM KLCI fell for the third straight day.

At 5pm, the KLCI was down 3.08 points or 0.17% to 1,773.58. Turnover rose to 3.15 billion shares valued at RM2.38bil, reflecting the heavy churning of the penny stocks. There were 352 gainers, 432 losers and 453 counters unchanged.

World stocks eked out a new record high on Wednesday and the dollar dipped against its major rivals with the focus on a US Federal Reserve policy meeting that may give clues as to whether it will raise interest rates for a third time this year, Reuters reported. 

Hong Kong shares rose on Wednesday, with the benchmark index hovering around 28-month highs, as shares of Chinese metal producers continued to rally. 

Oil rose on Wednesday after the Iraqi oil minister said Opec and its partners were considering extending or deepening supply cuts to erode an existing global surplus, Reuters reported. US light crude oil rose 54 cents to US$50.02 and Brent added 44 cents to US$55.58.

Hibiscus Petroleum surged 18.5 sen to 65 sen and it was the most active with 416.66 million shares done. UMW Oil and Gas gained five sen to 35 sen, KNM three sen to 28.5 sen while Hubline and Sumatec added one sen each to 7.5 sen and 6.5 sen. TH Heavy gained 2.5 sen to 8.5 sen.

However, Petronas Chemicals fell seven sen to RM7.29, Petronas Dagangan was flat at RM24.24 and Petronas Gas gained six sen to RM18.36. Lotte Chemical Titan lost 20 sen to RM5.29.

CIMB extended its decline for the second day, down 15 sen to RM6.31 and erasing 2.3 points from the KLCI as investors were negative about Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s (MUFG) sale of a stake in the banking group.

A total of 412.50 million CIMB shares was transacted in an off-market deal  at RM6.20 each. The 4.6% stake was disposed by MUFG’s banking entity, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.

Crude palm oil for third month delivery rose RM14 to RM2,781 per tonne. Far East fell 60 sen to RM9.20, Chin Tek and United Plantations 20 sen lower at RM7.80 and RM27.20 while United Malacca lost 19 sen to RM6/59/

KL Kepong fell eight sen to RM24.42, Sime Darby five sen to RM9.13, IOI Corp two sen to RM4.63 but PPB Group added 12 sen to RM16.80.

Among the banks, PublicBank was flat at RM20.60, RHB Bank added two sen to RM5.15, AmBank seven sen to RM4.56 and Hong Leong Bank 10 sen to RM15.98. Maybank gained four sen to RM9.85.

Chip maker MPI fell 40 sen to RM13.40 but KESM jumped 92 sen to RM15.98.

Lii Hen rose 21 sen to RM3.70, extending its gains for the second day as analysts turned upbeat about the furniture maker.

Stretch film maker and property compay Scientex rebounded 12 sen to RM8.72 after its strong earnings.