Bursa ends higher, boosted by healthcare-linked stocks

BURSA Malaysia ended slightly higher today for the second day running on persistent buying support in heavyweights, led by healthcare counters.

At 5pm, 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 bil from 6.30 billion shares valued at RM3.62 bil on Wednesday.  

The regional market performance was mixed with Singapore’s Straits Times Index slipping 0.27% to 3,187.01, Japan’s Nikkei was 0.07% easier at 29,708.98, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up by 1.16% to 29,008.07, and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.19% 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 Corporation Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd and Supermax Corporation Bhd recording gains of at least 10.0% 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%, while the other sectors which depend on overall economic growth such as banking dropped by 1.1% as the surge in COVID-19 cases could pose a threat towards the anticipated economic recovery,” he added. – April 8, 2021

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