(Updated)

FBM KLCI falls as glove giants decline

FBM KLCI falls as glove giants decline
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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 23): The FBM KLCI Index continued to end lower today following declines in its glove maker constituents, in contrast with other regional bourses trending higher in anticipation of insights from the US Federal Reserve.

The local benchmark index closed 0.34% or 5.41 points lower today at 1,565.05, following declines in Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Top Glove Corp Bhd and Supermax Corp Bhd.

Hartalega fell by 4.98% or 58 sen to RM11.06, valuing it at RM37.91 billion. Meanwhile, Top Glove was the local bourse’s 19th top value loser, finishing 1.9% or 11 sen lower at RM5.67, yielding a market value of RM46.51 billion.

Supermax ended the trading day 1.45% or eight sen lower at RM5.45, valuing it at RM14.83 billion.

When contacted by theedgemarkets.com, Areca Capital chief executive officer Danny Wong noted the fortunes of the FBM KLCI have been influenced by rubber glove stocks in the past 12 months.

“When you look at the FBM KLCI, it was well supported by the rubber glove counters when their prices surged last year,” he said.

At the same time, he also noted that index-related financial services stocks such as Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd and Malayan Banking Bhd did not perform well either today. Given that they are proxies to the state of the economy, their performance signalled pessimism, he added.

That being said, he pointed out that while the FBM KLCI was down, the FBM70 and FBM Small Cap indices were up. The FBM70 closed 0.91% or 138.86 points higher at 15,429.48, while, the Small Cap Index was up 0.58% or 95.82 points at 16,497.5.

The broader market at Bursa Malaysia was slightly positive, with 594 counters closing up versus the 540 that went unchanged and 521 that declined.

Trading volume today consisted of 11.43 billion shares worth RM5.54 billion.

Top actives today included the likes of Techna-X Bhd, AirAsia X Bhd and DGB Asia Bhd. Top value gainers were Frontken Corp Bhd, Pimpinan Ehsan Bhd, and Muda Holdings Bhd. Top losers were Malaysia Pacific Industries Bhd, Gentec Technology Bhd, and Microlink Solutions Bhd.

Asian bourses were largely upward today. Japan's Nikkei 225 finished 0.46% or 138.11 points higher at 30,156.03, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed 1.03% or 312.81 points higher at 30,632.64. That being said, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.17% or 6.09 points at 3,636.36.

According to Reuters, Asian equities ticked higher today while bond yields remained elevated, in anticipation of comments from US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell.

“Most Asian equities rose while bond yields remained elevated, as investors awaited US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell's Congressional testimony later for clues into the central bank's thinking on inflation expectations and rising yields,” it reported.

Lam Jian Wyn