KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia reversed earlier gains to finish at the day’s low for a second consecutive day as the key index was weighed down by persistent selling in rubber glove heavyweights amid recovery plays following the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine.
At 5 pm, the benchmark FBM KLCI declined 5.41 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 1,565.05 from 1,570.46 at Monday’s close.
The key index opened 3.21 points firmer at 1,573.67 and moved between 1,565.05 and 1,580.68 throughout the day.
However, market breadth remained positive with gainers marginally leading losers by 603 to 602, while 450 counters were unchanged, 542 untraded and nine others suspended.
Total volume was easier at 11.45 billion shares worth RM5.54 billion compared with 13.30 billion units worth RM5.70 billion on Monday.
Commenting on the FBM KLCI’s performance, Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Victor Wan said the arrival of Covid-19 vaccine had curbed demand for rubber gloves and prompted investors to offload their holdings in glove stocks.
“Looking into 2021, demand (for rubber) gloves is very likely to be lower,” he told Bernama.
However, Wan noted that investors had started to shift to recovery-theme stocks with gaming counters such as Genting and Genting Malaysia leading the gains in the key index today.
Besides, he said, budget airline AirAsia X (AAX) and its sister company AirAsia Group also started to gain traction from investors after news on AAX’s recovery plan as well as Hong Kong poker player Stanley Choi Chiu Fai emerging as AirAsia Group substantial shareholder were reported.
“The worst could be over for the recovery-theme sectors... it appears in that way because once the vaccination comes along, fewer people will get infected and there is more sense of normalcy,” he said.
Of the 30 FBM KLCI constituents, rubber glove counters Hartalega slipped 58 sen to RM11.06, Top Glove fell 11 sen to RM5.67 while Supermax was eight sen lower at RM5.45.
Other heavyweights that suffered selling pressure included Hong Leong Bank which shed 28 sen to RM17.40, while Maybank and Axiata retreated six sen each to RM7.89 and RM3.35 respectively.
However, gaming blue chips like Genting rose 17 sen to RM4.65 and Genting Malaysia was 11 sen firmer at RM2.87.
The most actively traded counters were led by Techna-X which inched up one sen to 19 sen, followed by AirAsia X which gained two sen to 10 sen.
AirAsia Group climbed 13.5 sen to 95 sen, ACE Market debutant Mobilia rose 32.5 sen to 55.5 sen while DGB Asia was flat at nine sen.
Apart from Hartalega and Hong Leong Bank, other top losers included MPI which erased 86 sen to RM36.38, KESM which lost 40 sen to RM16.10 and Latitude Tree which shrank 21 sen to RM4.05.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index strengthened 3.22 points to 11,550.81, but the FBMT100 Index eased 1.90 points to 11,228.83, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index was 3.71 points lower at 12,978.50.
The FBM 70 surged 138.86 points to 15,429.48 while the FBM ACE fell 200.77 points to 11,109.35.
Sector-wise, Financial Services Index retreated 67.99 points to 14,696.82, the Industrial Products and Services Index edged down 0.14 of-a-point to 180.58 but the Plantation Index was 11.6 points better at 7,143.18.
The Healthcare Index dwindled 21.13 points to 3,378.15.
The Main Market volume narrowed to 7.07 billion shares worth RM4.48 billion from 7.19 billion shares worth RM4.42 billion on Monday.
Warrants turnover was higher at 481.72 million units valued at RM69.06 million compared with 443.95 million units valued at RM62.71 million yesterday.
Volume on the ACE Market slipped to 3.89 billion shares worth RM982.33 million from 5.66 billion shares worth RM1.21 billion previously.
Consumer products and services accounted for 1.57 billion shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (1.43 billion), construction (298.17 million), technology (1.19 billion), SPAC (nil), financial services (111.34 million), property (408.53 million), plantations (34.01 million), REITs (8.95 million), closed/fund (30,000), energy (1.57 billion), healthcare (91.87 million), telecommunications and media (82.55 million), transportation and logistics (203.41 million), and utilities (41.7 million). — Bernama