Over 1,000 stocks in red; KLCI closes at intra-day low of 1,557.55

Over 1,000 stocks in red; KLCI closes at intra-day low of 1,557.55
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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 24): The rollout of the country’s vaccination programme with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin taking his first vaccine jab today did not boost local market sentiment.

The FBM KLCI gave up its earlier gains and closed at its intraday low of 1,557.55 points, down 0.48% or 7.5 points. The benchmark index slid into negative territory in the afternoon trading session.

Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd senior analyst Kenneth Leong told The Edge that the continued selldown on the three glove counters pulled down the benchmark index.

Across the board, trading volume was at 12.7 billion shares worth RM6.85 billion compared with 11.43 billion shares worth RM5.54 billion traded yesterday.

Losers led gainers by 1,012 to 314 while 393 counters closed unchanged. Glove stocks were the top decliners including Hartalega Corp Bhd which fell 66 sen or 5.97% to RM10.40, Top Glove Corp Bhd which shaved 44 sen or 7.76% to RM5.23 and Supermax Corp Bhd which slid 41 sen or 7.52% to RM5.04.

Some quarters noted that news of Hong Kong unveiling its first stamp-duty increase on stock trades since 1993 weighed on regional sentiment, including Bursa.

According to Bloomberg, the planned trading-tax increase to 0.13% from 0.10% was part of a raft of new measures announced in Hong Kong’s Budget that included increased spending to help residents weather the pandemic.

Hong Kong’s first stamp-duty increase on stock trades in almost three decades sparked a broad selloff in the US$7.6 trillion market and sent shares of the city’s exchange to their biggest plunge in more than five years,” it added.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 2.99% while the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index closed down 1.99%. Other markets like Japan's Nikkei 225 sank 1.61% while South Korea's Kospi plunged 2.45%.

Back on Bursa, healthcare-related stocks such as Pharmaniaga Bhd and Duopharma Biotech Bhd were also among the top losers (by value). Among the indices, Bursa Malaysia’s healthcare index fell the most in percentage terms, falling 3.86% to 3,247.91 from 3,378.15.

Other top decliners included Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd and  Sam Engineering & Equipment (M) Bhd.

Reuters reported that falling tech stocks in China and Hong Kong pulled Asia’s markets sharply lower on Wednesday as recent gains in US Treasury yields put lofty equity valuations under pressure even as bond markets stabilised.

Meanwhile, Bursa’s top gainers' list (by value) were Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd, Nestle (M) Bhd and Petronas Gas Bhd.

XOX Bhd was the most actively traded stock on Bursa, with 691.5 million shares traded after it closed up 0.5 sen at 9.5 sen.  

Other active stocks included Metronic Global Bhd, YKGI Holdings Bhd, Techna-X Bhd, AYS Ventures Bhd and Dagang NeXchange Bhd.

Kathy Fong