The KLCI was the top performer among the key Asian markets as investors viewed banks as the proxy in the economic recovery next year. KUALA LUMPUR: Public Bank and Maybank helped power the FBM KLCI to the highest since mid-July last year at midday on Friday as investors piled into banking stocks. At 12.30pm, the KLCI was up 30.16 points or 1.82% to 1,684.55 and year-to-date it is up by 6.13%. Turnover was 6.04 billion shares valued at RM3.30bil. The broader market was mixed with 594 gainer, 597 loser and 446 counters. The KLCI was the top performer among the key Asian markets as investors viewed banks as the proxy in the economic recovery next year. This was despite the industrial production index (IPI) in October shrank by 0.5% from a year ago, which was below a Bloomberg survey of 0.2% increase. It was the first contraction since July. Public Bank rallied RM1.90 to RM22.10, extending its gains from Wednesday after it announced its historic four-for-one bonus issue. It boosted the KLCI by 11.61 points, the most in many years. LPI added 60 sen to RM13.80. Maybank rose 44 sen to RM8.82 and lifted the KLCI by 7.78 points. Hong Leong Bank rose 60 sen to RM19.50 and added 2.04 points while CIMB advanced 13 sen to RM4.41 and added 2.03 points. Aeon Credit gained 68 sen to RM12.58. Crude oil prices climbed and these gave energy stocks a lift also. US light crude oil rose 12 cents to US$46.90 and Brent nine cents to US$50.34. Hengyuan rose 27 sen to RM6.60, Petronas Chemicals 20 sen to RM7.86, Petrona Gas four sen to RM17.30 but Petronas Dagangan lost 16 sen to RM20.20. Dialog shed three sen to RM3.50. Glove makers slipped with Top Glove down by five sen to RM6.94 and Hartalega 38 sen to RM13.98, Kossan also 38 sen to RM5.44 and Supermax 20 sen to RM7.57.
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