By Sharifah Pirdaus Syed Ali
KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 -- Bursa Malaysia ended slightly higher today for the second day running on persistent buying support in heavyweights, led by healthcare counters.
At 5 pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) ended 1.81 points better at 1,602.40 compared with Wednesday’s close of 1,600.59.
The index opened 0.78 of-a-point easier at 1,599.81, and moved between 1,596.64 and 1,609.39 throughout the trading session.
On the broader market, gainers beat losers by 569 versus 504, while 482 counters were unchanged, 601 untraded, and 25 others suspended.
Total volume increased to 7.60 billion shares valued at RM4.89 billion from 6.30 billion shares valued at RM3.62 billion on Wednesday.
The regional market performance was mixed with Singapore’s Straits Times Index slipping 0.27 per cent to 3,187.01, Japan’s Nikkei was 0.07 per cent easier at 29,708.98, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up by 1.16 per cent to 29,008.07, and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.19 per cent to 3,143.26.
Asian shares took the cue from the overnight Wall Street's cautious gains after the United States (US) Federal Reserve reiterated its commitment to keep interest rates low until the US economy makes a more secure recovery.
On the local front, Maybank Investment Bank Bhd senior chartist Nik Ihsan Raja Abdullah said the local bourse opened easier but rebounded thereafter to end higher, but saw choppy trading after lunch break on profit-taking led by Malayan Banking Bhd and Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, interspersed with persistent buying in glove counters.
“The market breadth was relatively mixed, although bargain hunting now shifts to small caps and the ACE market.
“Additionally, value investors and traders are now starting to flock to the healthcare theme again after trading on a downtrend bias since October last year,” he told Bernama
Meanwhile, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd economist Adam Mohamed Rahim shared that glove counters were the darling among investors today with Top Glove, Hartalega and Supermax recording gains of at least 10.0 per cent on Thursday.
“The push for glove counters was brought on by the third and fourth wave virus outbreaks in Europe and parts of Asia, notably India, which heightened lockdown concerns and continue to weigh on the overall market, but somewhat acted in favour of glove makers which are expected to see surging demand for gloves.
“The Bursa Malaysia Healthcare index emerged as the biggest gainer after jumping 4.73 per cent, while the other sectors which depend on overall economic growth such as banking dropped by 1.1 per cent as the surge in COVID-19 cases could pose a threat towards the anticipated economic recovery,” he added.
Of the heavyweights, Maybank lost 20 sen to RM8.28, Public Bank shed one sen to RM4.21, Petronas Chemicals slipped 15 sen to RM7.80, Tenaga reduced 12 sen to RM10.14, and IHH Healthcare was down 10 sen to RM5.30.
Among the active counters, LKL increased 16.5 sen to 45 sen, Luster improved one sen to 24.5 sen, AT Systematization added 1.5 sen to 11 sen, Macpie edged up half-a-sen to 10 sen, and HLT rose 23.5 sen to RM1.09.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index rose 16.71 points to 11,862.70, the FBMT 100 increased 11.04 points to 11,507.80, the FBM Emas Shariah surged 100.13 points to 13,223.11, the FBM ACE soared 291.55 points to 9,929.09, and the FBM 70 improved 7.64 points to 15,856.14.
Sector-wise, the Plantation Index went down 91.31 points to 6,986.60, the Industrial Products and Services Index eased 1.09 points to 193.79, and the Financial Services Index dropped 165.76 points to 15,213.45.
Main Market volume rose to 4.26 billion shares worth RM3.83 billion from Wednesday’s 4.04 billion shares worth RM3.10 billion.
Warrants turnover advanced to 500.23 million units valued at RM59.73 million from 277.05 million units valued at RM44.83 million yesterday.
Volume on the ACE Market increased to 2.83 billion shares worth RM1.0 billion from 1.98 billion shares worth RM474.41 million on Wednesday.
Consumer products and services accounted for 734.06 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (1.66 billion), construction (185.17 million), technology (393.56 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (72.87 million), property (411.67 million), plantations (29.65 million), REITs (8.74 million), closed/fund (4,000), energy (340.83 million), healthcare (224.12 million), telecommunications and media (50.83 million), transportation and logistics (120.40 million), and utilities (29.22 million).