Bursa Health Care Index rises on spectre of Omicron variant fears

Bursa Health Care Index rises on spectre of Omicron variant fears
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 29): Bursa Malaysia’s Health Care Index remained as the only index up on Monday (Nov 29) morning as shares in rubber glove manufacturers rose after the Omicron Covid-19 variant was detected in more countries.

The Health Care Index rose as much as 124.41 or 5.21% to 2,512.26. At 10.17am, it had pared some gains at 2,509.55, still up 121.1 or 5.07.

In comparison, the FBM KLCI was down 5.29 points or 0.35% to 1,506.93.

Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd, Supermax Corp Bhd, Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd, Careplus Group Bhd, Comfort Gloves Bhd and Rubberex Corp (M) Bhd were among the top gainers.

Hartalega rose 52 sen or 9.2% to RM6.17, Top Glove gained 41 sen or 15.53% to RM3.05, Supermax increased by 27 sen or 14.59% to RM2.12 and Kossan grew 20 sen or 9.13% to RM2.39.

Their smaller peers Careplus also went up 20 sen or 16.39% to RM1.42, Comfort Gloves added 18 sen or 14.75% to RM1.40 and Rubberex climbed 14.5 sen or 25.22% to 72 sen.

“The rise in glove stocks was because of the Omicron variant which created concerns of another potential outbreak,” said Rakuten Trade head of research Kenny Yee.

However, he opined that the uptrend could be temporary.

“I think this could only be an overreaction to the situation,” he told theedgemarkets.com.

Reuters reported on Sunday that the Omicron coronavirus variant spread around the world with new cases found in the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia.

Citing the World Health Organization, it said it was not yet clear whether Omicron, first detected in Southern Africa, is more transmissible than other variants or if it causes more severe disease.

Surin Murugiah