KLCI ends lower with Asian shares amid Covid-19 resurgence, US stimulus concerns

KLCI ends lower with Asian shares amid Covid-19 resurgence, US stimulus concerns
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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 15): The FBM KLCI closed 9.3 points or 0.61% lower at 1,513.95 today with Asian stock indices as the global resurgence of Covid-19 cases weighed down on investor sentiment. 

Besides the resurgence of Covid-19 infections, which generates concerns about global economic growth, it was reported that downbeat comments from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that a stimulus deal was unlikely to be made before the Nov 3 US presidential election also provided another excuse for profit-taking in global stock markets today.

Across Bursa Malaysia at 5pm today, trading volume stood at 6.29 billion securities worth RM4.74 billion. There were 593 decliners and 431 gainers as investors also closely watched Malaysian political updates.

"The persistent domestic political uncertainty should keep most investors sidelined pending more certainty, while healthcare related sectors such as rubber glove, vaccine and technology continue to attract strong buying interest,” TA Securities Holdings Bhd analysts wrote in a note today.

Globally, it was reported that world shares slipped on Thursday as investors locked in recent gains amid rising concerns about resurgent Covid-19 infections and after Mnuchin dashed any remaining hopes of a US stimulus package before the Nov 3 election.

It was reported that concerns that a resurgence in the Covid-19 pandemic could lead governments to again shut down economies spurred profit-taking.

"With Covid-19 cases surging, some European nations are closing schools, cancelling surgery and enlisting student medics as overwhelmed authorities braced for a repeat of the nightmare scenario seen earlier this year. That helped push the German 10-year Bund yield to as low as minus 0.586%, a rate last seen in May.

"Downbeat comments from Mnuchin that a stimulus deal was unlikely [to] be made before the Nov 3 vote also provided another excuse for profit-taking. Still, many investors expect large stimulus after the election, which Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is increasingly expected to win. Although Biden has been seen as more likely to raise taxes on corporate profits and capital gains, investors are also pointing to other potential benefits of a Biden presidency, such as less global trade uncertainty,” Reuters reported.

At Bursa today, notable decliners included KLCI constituents Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd and Top Glove Corp Bhd.

Leading gainers included Bursa Malaysia Bhd and Advance Information Marketing Bhd (AIM). AIM’s share price closed up 13.5 sen or  79.41% at 30.5 sen today after the company yesterday received a notice of conditional voluntary takeover offer from Datuk Chai Woon Chet, who intends to acquire all the shares of AIM at 13 sen each.

Today's top-active stocks included Samaiden Group Bhd, which was listed today on Bursa’s ACE Market at 48 sen a share.

Samaiden closed today with some 155 million shares traded. The stock’s price ended up 32.5 sen or 67.71% at 80.5 sen.

Chong Jin Hun