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Bursa Malaysia reversed early gains to end lower, CI down 1.22%

21 Oct 2020 / 19:02 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia reversed early gains to close lower today with the FBM KLCI declining by 1.22 percent.

Of the benchmark index’s 30 constituent stocks, half were in the red, succumbing to persistent selling pressure as the market is roiled by the political uncertainty in the local scene, coupled with selling by foreign funds.

At the closing bell, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) shed 18.57 points to 1,492.40 from yesterday’s close of 1,510.97.

The index opened at 1,512.04 and subsequently moved between 1,492.19 and 1,513.20 throughout the day.

On the broader market, losers overwhelmed gainers 758 to 375 while 393 counters were unchanged, 641 untraded and 22 others suspended.

Total volume fell to 8.47 billion units worth RM5.94 billion from 11 billion units worth RM5.82 billion recorded at Tuesday’s close.

An analyst said that just as investors were about to heave a sigh of relief following the reopening of economy and businesses, coupled with the anticipation of a recovery in the third quarter of 2020 (Q3), the future now seems vague with the escalating Covid-19 cases in the country.

“Beginning tomorrow, the government has directed nearly one million private and public sector workers who are in the management and supervision categories in Selangor, Sabah, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya (which are under a conditional movement control order) to work from home.

“We are basically back to ground zero and the market sentiment will be influenced by this development. But on the flip side, we do notice increased participation by retail investors who are bargain hunting for value stocks,” she said.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd economist Adam Mohamed Rahim told Bernama that the FBM KLCI constituents involved in glove making such as Top Glove and Hartalega both dropped by more than six percent for the day as investors took profit following the recent rally and fresh progress in the development of a vaccine for Covid-19.

“Therefore, it was no surprise that the Bursa Malaysia Healthcare index led the laggards with a 3.17 percent decline.

“On the other hand, the Bursa Malaysia Transport and Logistics index emerged the biggest gainer, rising 2.05 percent,” he said.

Bursa Malaysia’s performance today bucked its regional peers which are mostly optimistic of the US fiscal stimulus which is expected to reach a compromise this week.

Regionally, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.31 percent to 23,639.46, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng expanded 0.75 percent to 24,754.42 but Singapore’s Straits Times was 0.12 percent lower at 2,525.61.

In another development, the Department of Statistics Malaysia today released the consumer price index, which declined 1.4 percent year-on-year to 120.1 in September 2020 against 121.8 in the same month last year.

In Q3 2020, headline inflation decreased 1.4 percent to 120.2, compared with 121.7 in the corresponding quarter of last year.

Among heavyweights, Maybank lost three sen to RM7.15, Top Glove erased 60 sen to RM8.88, Hartalega declined RM1.20 to RM17.84, while Public Bank was four sen weaker at RM15.76.

Top losers were led by the rubber glove counters and their warrants. Besides Top Glove, Supermax and two of its warrants dropped 86 sen, RM1.54 and 94 sen to RM9.50, RM11.62 and RM12.46 respectively, while Kossan fell 81 sen to RM7.32.

While this sector recorded losses amid profit-taking today, for the longer term, research house MIDF has upgraded its recommendation to “positive” from “neutral” since the pandemic infections showed no signs of slowing down, hence the surge in demand for medical gloves.

It also saw the potential for a higher weightage of glove counters in the FBM KLCI, noting that the market capitalisations of Supermax and Kossan have stayed above the RM20 billion mark.

As for the actives, Luster and Mah Sing, two newbies that will enter the rubber glove business, also saw profit-taking, with their shares dropping three sen and five sen to 19.5 sen and RM1.13 respectively.

Diversified Gateway was up by 3.5 sen to 23 sen. — Bernama

More to come

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