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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 ― Bursa Malaysia remained in the positive territory at midday, as sectors with high earnings certainty continued to gain traction.
However, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) pared its early gains, ending the morning session below 1,570-level as heavy selling in rubber glove heavyweights weighed on the key index’s performance.
At lunch break, the FBM KLCI stood at 1,569.67, rising 4.62 points, or 0.30 per cent from 1,565.05 at yesterday’s closing.
The key index opened 5.96 points firmer at 1,571.01, and hovered between 1,581.55 and 1,569.06 throughout the morning trading session.
Market breadth was negative with losers thumping gainers 705 to 431, while 418 counters were unchanged, 644 untraded and 15 others suspended.
Total volume stood at 7.40 billion units worth RM3.46 billion.
Of the 30 FBM KLCI constituents, Petronas Chemicals added 23 sen to RM7.73, Maybank bagged nine sen to RM7.98, while Press Metal Aluminium was 19 sen higher at RM8.91.
Prompted by news on the expected arrival of the second batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in Malaysia later today, investors have begun to further offload their holdings in healthcare heavyweights ― particularly the rubber glove counters ― as they anticipate demand for rubber gloves to reduce following the vaccine roll-out.
Top Glove fell 33 sen to RM5.34, Hartalega shed 56 sen to RM10.50, Supermax was 37 sen weaker at RM5.08, while IHH was unchanged at RM5.09.
The three glove counters, namely Top Glove, Hartalega and Supermax had also dominated the top losers’ list on the local bourse.
The top gainers' list was led by Nestle which surged RM1.00 to RM136.30, followed by Euro Holdings which accumulated 40 sen to RM4.30, and Time Dotcom which rose 28 sen to RM14.28.
Of the actives, XOX and its warrant ticked up half-a-sen each to 9.5 sen and 2.5 sen respectively, Metronic Global added one sen to 11.5 sen and its warrant was 1.5 sen firmer at 6.5 sen, while Techna-X slid two sen to 17 sen.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index accumulated 9.88 points to 11,560.69, the FBMT 100 Index expanded 17.38 points to 11,246.21, while the FBM Emas Shariah Index slipped 30.82 points to 12,947.68.
The FBM 70 lost 36.42 points to 15,393.06 and the FBM ACE weakened 72.42 points to 11,036.93.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index jumped 120.72 points to 14,817.54, the Industrial Products and Services Index edged up 2.51 points to 183.09 and the Plantation Index increased 39.38 points to 7,182.56.
Conversely, the Healthcare Index dipped 111.69 points to 3,266.46. ― Bernama