KLCI lags tech rise as investors dump healthcare shares

KLCI lags tech rise as investors dump healthcare shares
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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 2): The FBM KLCI closed up 16.11 points or 1.06% at its intraday high of 1,537.54 today while Bursa Malaysia's technology index rose by a larger quantum as the healthcare gauge fell in an apparent tack change where investors price in an earnings recovery after businesses were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

At 5pm, the technology index, which tracks shares of companies like electronic component manufacturers, ended up 2.97% to become the largest percentage gainer among Bursa indices.

The healthcare index, which includes rubber glove manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies, fell the most after the gauge closed down 2.72%.

“The KLCI has been down amid the expected weak 2020 second quarter results season. Everyone is now expecting a recovery in third quarter earnings, and it is a matter of how far the recovery will be,” Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Victor Wan said.

Across Bursa today, 11.6 billion securities were traded for RM5.39 billion. There were 552 gainers against 537 decliners.

Top gainers included technology index constituents Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd (MPI) and KESM Industries Bhd.

Leading gainers included KLCI stocks PPB Group Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd.

MPI's share price closed up RM1.50 or 8.82% at RM18.50 after rising to its record high of RM18.80. PPB ended up 54 sen or 2.93% at RM18.98.

Meanwhile, Bursa's top decliners included rubber glove manufacturers Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd, Supermax Corp Bhd and Top Glove Corp Bhd.

Pharmaceutical company Pharmaniaga Bhd was also among notable decliners.

Leading decliner Hartalega's share price closed down RM1.10 or 6.68% at RM15.36. Pharmaniaga finished down 29 sen or 5.15% at RM5.34.

Globally, Asian shares took cue today from factors including higher crude oil prices and overnight gains in US-listed technology shares.

It was reported that Asian shares inched up today following buoyant manufacturing indicators from the United States and elsewhere and a rally in US tech shares, with investors also expecting more policy support from Washington.

It was reported that crude oil futures extended gains today after a bigger-than-expected draw in US crude stockpiles and as solid US and Chinese factory activities fuelled optimism about a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, boosting investor risk appetite.

"Brent crude futures rose 45 cents to US$46.03 a barrel as of 0559 GMT, climbing for a third day. US West Texas Intermediate futures rose 43 cents to US$43.19, following the previous day's gain of 15 cents," Reuters reported.

Edited by Chong Jin Hun