KLCI erases most losses but still ends 0.32% lower as sentiment dragged by MCO, state of emergency

KLCI erases most losses but still ends 0.32% lower as sentiment dragged by MCO, state of emergency
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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 12): The FBM KLCI erased most of its losses in a topsy-turvy day for the local market as the reinstatement of the movement control order (MCO) and the declaration of the state of emergency to curb the coronavirus pandemic rattled investor sentiment.

The benchmark index closed down 5.21 points or 0.32% at 1,612.04 today, having earlier in the day slipped to a low of 1,590.71.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Loui Low told theedgemarkets.com the market today continued to remain in negative territory due mainly to the proclamation of the state of emergency.

However, he opined that investors should see a “mild positive” trend for the KLCI going forward as funds continued to flow into the healthcare sector.

He also believes the downside risk from the second round of the MCO will not be as painful as the first as most business activities are allowed to operate.

Overall, gainers outpaced losers by 732 to 502 today, while 421 counters traded unchanged.

Meanwhile, 8.41 billion securities were traded for RM5.76 billion, compared with 6.63 billion securities worth RM5.56 billion yesterday.

The Financial Services Index was down 1.92% at 14,546.51.

Banking stocks were among the top 20 losers. Hong Leong Bank Bhd (HLB) fell 58 sen or 3.21% to RM17.50; Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd (HLFG) tumbled 42 sen or 2.38% to RM17.20; Public Bank Bhd slipped 20 sen or 0.99% to RM20.08; Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) slid 19 sen or 2.32% to RM8; and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd declined by 12 sen or 2.97% to RM3.92.

Glove makers, meanwhile, dominated the list of top 20 gainers. Hartalega Holdings Bhd rose 92 sen or 7.53% to RM13.14; Supermax Corp Bhd advanced 27 sen or 3.84% to RM7.30; Top Glove Corp Bhd gained 25 sen or 3.89% to RM6.68; and Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd leapt 21 sen or 4.84% to RM4.56.

ACE Market-listed Iris Corp Bhd was the most actively traded stock. The counter, which saw 396.43 million shares traded, soared 4.5 sen or 13.04% to 39 sen.

Regional bourses were mixed today.

The Nikkei 225 closed 0.09% higher at 28,164.43. South Korea’s KOSPI, however, closed 0.71% lower at 3,125.95.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended 1.32% higher at 28,276.75, its highest level since Jan 22, 2020.

Surin Murugiah