Bursa’s trading volume soars to 8.71 billion shares, interest in small-cap stocks re-emerges

Bursa’s trading volume soars to 8.71 billion shares, interest in small-cap stocks re-emerges
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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 16): Interest in small-cap stocks dominated trading on Bursa Malaysia today.

Trading volume swelled to 8.71 billion — the highest level since Sept 2 when the volume was at 8.45 billion. Total turnover was RM4.77 billion.

The FBM Small Cap climbed 1.55% or 206.93 points at a one-month high of 13,556.63 points while The FBM ACE Index went up 0.88% or 96.03 to 10.971.88 points.

In contrast, the FBM KLCI dropped 0.67% or 10.11 points at 1,503.84 points today, reflecting the lacklustre trading on blue chips. The benchmark index was dragged by Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Axiata Group Bhd and IOI Corp Bhd.

Across the board, gainers outnumbered losers by 513 to 444, with 545 counters unchanged.

Mah Sing Group Bhd, a property developer which will diversify to be a rubber glove maker, topped the most actively traded list today. The stock shot up 22 sen, or 30.4%, to 94.5 sen with 660.42 million shares traded. The number of shares changing hands was equivalent to 27.2% of the group’s issued share capital.

Top gainers were LPI Capital Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd and KESM Industries Bhd, while the top losers in value were Nestle Malaysia Bhd, Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd.

According to Rakuten Trade Research Vice President Vincent Lau, the higher trading volume today can be attributed to greater retail investor participation as a result of the conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) placed in certain areas of the country.

“The CMCO has led to more people working from home which is likely to increase retail investor participation in the market,” he noted.

Reuters reported today that emerging market stocks continue to be subject to investor fears over resurgent COVID-19 cases, as well as concerns that US stimulus talks are stalling.

“Sentiment has taken a hit this week after high-profile COVID-19 vaccine trials were halted, while a political tussle in Malaysia and anti-government protests in Thailand have also steered investors away from riskier assets in the region,” it reported.

On the regional front, the Hong Kong Hang Seng finished 0.94% or 228.25 points higher at 24,386.79 points. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.13% or 4.18 points at 3,336.36 points.

Across the causeway, Singapore’s Straits Times Index was up by 0.32% or 8.03 points at 2,351.65 points while the Nikkei 225 dropped 0.41% or 96.90 points at 24,410.63 points.

Kathy Fong