Banks, telcos weigh on KLCI, as Bursa trading volume soars to record 12.5 billion securities

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 20): The FBM KLCI closed lower today, dampened mostly by weak interest in banking and telecommunication index-linked counters.

Meanwhile, trading volume across Bursa Malaysia rose to another record high of 12.5 billion securities in less than two weeks, driven by strong buying interest in glove makers. 

At 5pm, the benchmark index settled 6.88 points or 0.43% lower at 1,589.45, from 1,596.33 last Friday. 

Telco stocks DiGi.com Bhd fell 15 sen or 3.35% to RM4.33, followed by Axiata Group Bhd, which shed eight sen or 2.37% to RM3.33, while Maxis Bhd trimmed eight sen or 1.49% to RM5.30.

Among the banks, Public Bank Bhd fell 64 sen or 3.5% to RM17.64, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd sank eight sen or 2.22% to RM3.53, Malayan Banking Bhd dipped 12 sen or 1.51% to RM7.82, RHB Bank Bhd slipped seven sen or 1.38% to RM5, while Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd dropped 12 sen or 0.86% to RM13.82.

Bursa saw 12.50 billion securities worth RM6.64 billion traded across the exchange.

The previous record was 11.81 billion shares, registered on July 8.

There were 551 decliners versus 439 gainers while 507 counters remained unchanged. 

Commenting on the record-high trading volume across the Bursa Malaysia, MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd senior analyst Imran Yassin Yusof said it was mainly driven by strong buying interest in rubber glove makers. 

“The trading interest in glove makers continued to be high, mirroring the situation at the moment which [is] linked to the prolonged issue with the Covid-19 pandemic across the world,” he told theedgemarkets.com.

On the flipside, other sectors were negatively impacted by the virus, he added. 

Glove makers dominated the gainer list. Top Glove Corp Bhd surged RM1.84 or 8.01% to RM24.82, Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd rose 80 sen or 5.93% to RM14.30, Supermax Corp Bhd was up 70 sen or 3.95% at RM18.40, while Hartalega Holdings Bhd rose 36 sen or 2.11% to RM17.46.

The actively traded stocks included Lambo Group Bhd, Eduspec Holdings Bhd, Nexgram Holdings Bhd, XOX Bhd and Pegasus Heights Bhd.

Across Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 edged up 0.09%, while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.14%.

In China, the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index inched down 0.12% while the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index rose 3.11%.

Reuters reported that Asian shares posted gains on Monday while the euro rose to four-month highs, as EU leaders appeared to make some headway after three days of haggling on a plan to revive their economies, even as coronavirus cases increased in many countries.