KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 — Bursa Malaysia surpassed the 1,435 level today to close at the day’s high, as healthcare stocks, particularly the glove counters, returned to the spotlight after health experts expressed skepticism over Covid-19 vaccine developments.
At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) jumped 11.15 points, or 0.78 per cent, to 1,435.12 from 1,423.97 at Tuesday’s close.
Maybank Investment Bank Bhd remisier Jeffry Azizi Jaafar said a report casting doubt on US-based Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate had spurred demand in healthcare stocks, especially the rubber glove counters.
“That has benefited Malaysia as our rubber glove manufacturers are the largest suppliers, capturing over 60 per cent of the global market share,” he told Bernama.
Trading volume, however, narrowed to 6.73 billion shares worth RM3.63 billion from 9.51 billion units worth RM4.64 billion yesterday.
According to Jeffry Azizi, retail participation in the local bourse had recently surged to about 40 per cent compared with about 15 per cent last year.
The barometer index opened 9.61 points higher at 1,419.77 before hovering between 1,420.18 and 1,435.12 throughout the day.
Market breadth was positive with advancers leading decliners 561 to 356, while 409 counters were unchanged, 565 untraded and 19 others suspended.
Of the heavyweights, glove maker Hartalega advanced 41 sen to RM9.42 and another industry player Top Glove added 32 sen to RM10.80.
Tenaga bagged 28 sen to RM12.44, Sime Darby Plantation was 10 sen better at RM4.92, and Sime Darby rose five sen to RM2.01.
Top gainers are dominated by healthcare stocks led by Comfort Gloves, which increased 43 sen to RM2.48.
Apart from Hartalega and Top Glove, Pharmaniaga and Supermax accumulated 34 sen each to RM2.22 and RM4.59 respectively.
As for the actives, Velesto inched up half-a-sen to 17 sen, Careplus climbed 18.5 sen to 95 sen and Sapura Energy was flat at 10 sen, while Bumi Armada and KNM shed half-a-sen each to 24 sen and 21.5 sen, respectively.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index expanded 92.15 points to 10,163.61, the FBMT 100 Index gained 88.79 points to 10,005.91, while the FBM Emas Shariah Index surged 142.94 points to 11,551.62.
The FBM 70 soared 157.19 points to 12,638.19 and the FBM ACE improved 97.63 points to 5,461.03.
Sector-wise, the Healthcare Index increased 76.82 points to 1,898.07 and the Financial Services Index strengthened 33.88 points to 12,448.80.
The Industrial Products and Services Index ticked up 1.06 points to 124.87 and the Plantation Index grew 95.85 points to 6,629.85.
Main Market volume declined to 4.69 billion shares worth RM2.98 billion against 7.04 billion shares worth RM4.13 billion on Tuesday.
Warrants turnover narrowed to 440.28 million units valued at RM95.11 million from 727.86 million units valued at RM123.03 million yesterday.
Volume on the ACE Market eased to 1.60 billion shares worth RM553.24 million compared with 1.74 billion shares worth RM386.61 million on the previous day.
Consumer products and services accounted for 379.31 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (564.81 million), construction (429.00 million), technology (295.31 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (53.66 million), property (242.94 million), plantations (470.35 million), REITs (10.41 million), closed/fund (46,500), energy (1.72 billion), healthcare (79.63 million), telecommunications and media (295.80 million), transportation and logistics (119.10 million), and utilities (28.84 million). — Bernama