KUALA LUMPUR (May 20): The FBM KLCI closed up 11.15 points or 0.78% at its intraday high today after a final hour jump as doubts about the development of a Covid-19 vaccine led to buying of healthcare-related shares on Bursa Malaysia.
Malaysia equities also took their cue from financial results of companies including Velesto Energy Bhd and KLCI component Petronas Gas Bhd (PetGas) today.
At 5pm, the KLCI finished higher at 1,435.12 points after a final hour spike in the share prices of KLCI stocks IHH Healthcare Bhd and PetGas. IHH closed up 19 sen or 3.45% at RM5.69, while PetGas rose 18 sen or 1.2% to RM15.18.
PetGas' share price rose after the company declared earlier today a first interim single-tier dividend of 16 sen a share. The group also reported that its net profit dropped to RM368.12 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2020 (1QFY20) from RM515.46 million a year earlier.
Across Bursa today, 6.74 billion shares worth RM3.64 billion were traded. A total of 561 counters gained, while 356 stocks declined.
The most active stock was Velesto, which registered a volume of some 509 million shares. The stock’s price closed up half a sen or 3.03% at 17 sen.
Oil and gas (O&G) support services provider Velesto reported earlier today that its net profit stood at RM16.33 million for 1QFY20 versus a net loss of RM22.22 million a year earlier.
Meanwhile, Bursa top gainers included KLCI-linked rubber glove manufacturers Hartalega Holdings Bhd and Top Glove Corp Bhd, both of which, together with IHH, are also constituents of Bursa’s healthcare index.
The healthcare index closed up 4.22% as world markets took their cue from medical news website STAT’s report, which cast doubt over encouraging early results of Moderna Inc's Covid-19 vaccine trial.
"The report said the results, which had rallied global stocks this week, lacked detail,” Reuters reported.
In Malaysia today, Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Loui Low told theedgemarkets.com that “the anticipation of the healthcare sector rally – particularly in rubber glove stocks – continuing was a factor” which led to buying of healthcare-related stocks.
Besides Hartalega and Top Glove, Bursa's top gainers included glove manufacturers Comfort Gloves Bhd and Supermax Corp Bhd.