Healthcare stocks push Bursa Malaysia higher at close

An investor monitors the stock prices in the gallery of the RHB Investment Bank Bhd headquarters in Kuala Lumpur March 17, 2020. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
An investor monitors the stock prices in the gallery of the RHB Investment Bank Bhd headquarters in Kuala Lumpur March 17, 2020. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 — Bursa Malaysia ended higher today, boosted by the strong buying momentum in selected heavyweights, led by the healthcare-linked stocks.

At 5pm, the benchmark index closed 14.27 points or 0.94 per cent higher at 1,518.11 from 1,503.84 at Friday’s close.

The market barometer opened 3.37 points higher at 1,507.21 and hovered between 1,505.92 and 1,521.91 throughout the day.

On the scoreboard, gainers trounced losers 723 to 387, while 428 counters were unchanged, 613 untraded and 23 others suspended.

Total volume surged to 9.50 billion units worth RM5.43 billion versus the 8.70 billion units worth RM4.76 billion recorded on Friday — the highest since Sept 7.

Rakuten Trade head of research Kenny Yee said the reinstatement of the conditional movement control order (CMCO) drew retail investors back to the equity market, where they had embarked on bargain hunting for local stocks, with healthcare and technology among their top picks.

“As they resumed working from home, the retail investors’ fingers get ‘itchy’ and they want to park their funds in the local bourse,” he told Bernama, adding that the market also received support from institutional buyers amidst the prevailing market weakness.

Overall, Yee still viewed the market as volatile.

He also said that investors were also upbeat following the United States’ (US) efforts to finalise its stimulus package to assist the country and its people in weathering the COVID-19’s impact.

Regional markets were also boosted by the uptrend in the US market, which saw the Dow Jones rising 0.39 per cent to 28,606.31.

Japanese Nikkei 225 rose 1.11 per cent to 23,671.13, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng expanded 0.64 per cent to 24,542.26, while Singapore’s Straits Times was 0.42 per cent higher at 2,543.5.

The CMCO in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya runs from Oct 14-27, and from Oct 13-26 in Sabah.

Among the 30 FBM KLCI constituents, 21 counters were trading higher, with healthcare-linked counters Top Glove and Hartalega jumping 35 sen and 62 sen to RM9.60 and RM19, respectively, while Petronas Chemicals was 14 sen stronger at RM6 and Nestle bagged RM2.60 to RM142.

Meanwhile, Public Bank slipped two sen to RM15.84, Hong Leong erased four sen to RM14.94 and Petronas Dagangan was 10 sen easier at RM18.88.

Top losers included Yinson, which slumped 61 sen to RM4.82, as well as Dutch Lady which declined 60 sen to RM37.40 and Panasonic Manufacturing which dropped 36 sen to RM28.44.

Among the actives, Lambo added half-a-sen to 3.5 sen, Luster inched up five sen to 22.5 sen and Mah Sing was 29.5 sen better at RM1.24.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index increased 99.91 points to 11,037.98, the FBMT 100 Index appreciated 88.71 points to 10,828.93 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index soared 148.97 points to 13,289.59.

The FBM 70 perked 69.09 points to 14,640.80 and the FBM ACE surged 199.88 points to 11,171.76.

The Financial Services Index added 35.56 points to 12,445.23, the Plantation Index improved 59.01 points to 6,917.52, the Industrial Products and Services Index edged up 2.91 points to 146.51 and the Healthcare Index advanced 75.83 points to 4,303.00.

The Main Market volume widened to 4.72 billion shares worth RM4.15 billion from 4.58 billion shares worth RM3.71 billion on Friday.

Warrants turnover rose to 1.15 billion units valued at RM337.23 million from 1.13 billion units valued at RM249.27 million previously.

Volume on the ACE Market surged to 3.61 billion shares worth RM936.75 million versus 2.98 billion shares worth RM808.41 million.

Consumer products and services accounted for 600.80 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (2.01 billion), construction (164.73 million), technology (339.83 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (32.12 million), property (829.83 million), plantations (26.39 million), REITs (6.61 million), closed/fund (2,000), energy (147.53 million), healthcare (130.12 million), telecommunications and media (37.15 million), transportation and logistics (90.73 million), and utilities (305.68 million). — Bernama

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