KLCI up as bargain hunters snap up Hartalega, Top Glove

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 23): The FBM KLCI closed up 5.38 points or 0.33% today at 1,627.44, led by share gains in glove manufacturers Hartalega Holdings Bhd and Top Glove Corp Bhd.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Securities Commission's (SC) observation that Malaysian financial markets remained resilient also supported the ringgit besides local stocks and bonds.

Among the 30 KLCI stocks, Hartalega and Top Glove were the top and second-largest percentage gainers. Hartalega closed up 34 sen or 7.07% at RM5.15 while Top Glove rose 21 sen or 4.62% to RM4.76.

Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Pong Teng Siew said Hartalega and Top Glove's share price rise "was due to bargain hunting as the stocks had fallen over 20% from their peaks".

Earlier today, the KLCI erased losses as the ringgit strengthened sharply after BNM and the SC said in a joint statement that conditions in the capital, foreign exchange and money markets continued to be orderly, supported by ample domestic liquidity, robust market infrastructure and firm macroeconomic fundamentals.

The KLCI erased losses after falling to its intraday low at 1,620.93 while the ringgit appreciated to its strongest intraday level versus the US dollar at 4.1252.

Bond prices also rose. Bloomberg reported that Malaysian bonds rose for the first time in eight days as regulators pledged to deepen onshore markets and said local markets were resilient following last week’s sell-off. It was reported that the nation’s 10-year bond yield fell 5bps to 3.9% after climbing 16bps in previous seven sessions following FTSE Russell's statement that it may drop Malaysian debt from its global bond index

Across Bursa Malaysia today, 3.73 billion shares were traded for RM2.48 billion as investors rotated out of construction stocks into oil and gas shares.

Pong noted that investors were taking profit today on construction stocks after yesterday’s rise.

Construction stock Ekovest Bhd closed down 10 sen or 10.31% at 87 sen to become the bourse's most-active counter. Ekovest saw some 229 million shares traded.

Earlier today, Bursa Malaysia said in a special announcement that proprietary day trading and intraday short selling of Ekovest and Iskandar Waterfront City Bhd shares had been suspended for the rest of the day as the last done prices of the approved securities dropped more than 15 sen or 15% from the reference price.