KLCI closes lower as Bursa volume tops 11 billion securities

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 20): The FBM KLCI finished 7.14 points or 0.47% lower at 1,510.97 today on profit taking while trade volume across Bursa Malaysia swelled past 11 billion securities on what analysts deem as a strong return of retail investors’ interest in small market capitalisation stocks (small caps) in the rubber glove and healthcare-related sectors amid a rising number of COVID-19 infections globally.

Across Bursa at 5pm, volume swelled to 11.04 billion securities worth RM5.83 billion after broad-based selling across the exchange.

Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd head of research Victor Wan told theedgemarkets.com that today's selling across Bursa "was spurred by profit-taking as market momentum remained tepid on a lack of buying impetus".

On the KLCI, Wan noted a lack of continued momentum today after yesterday's positive trading session. He said today political developments and uncertainties are likely to be on investors' minds for now.

Meanwhile, TA Securities Holdings Bhd analysts noted the strong return of retail investors' participation in small caps and ACE Market stock trades.

They wrote in a note earlier today: "Rubber gloves and healthcare-related stocks surged on Monday given the firm demand outlook from the resurgent Covid-19 cases globally, helped further by the strong return of retail participation in small caps and ACE Market stocks. The KLCI climbed 14.27 points to close at 1,518.11, off an early low of 1,505.92 and high of 1,521.91, as gainers led losers 723 to 387 on robust trade totalling 9.5 billion shares worth RM5.4 billion."

"[Today] blue chips should pull back following the overnight US stock market correction amid renewed uncertainty over a new US stimulus package ahead of a deadline and surging Covid-19 infections worldwide, but strong retail interest in small caps in the rubber gloves and healthcare-related sectors should still highlight trading," the analysts said.

Across Bursa today, actively-traded stocks included Lambo Group Bhd, Luster Industries Bhd and Mah Sing Group Bhd.

Top-active stock Lambo saw some 960 million shares traded. The stock’s price closed unchanged at 3.5 sen.

Leading decliners included Petronas Dagangan Bhd and Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd. KLCI stock Petronas Dagangan’s share price closed 98 sen or 5.19% lower at RM17.90.

Top gainers included ViTrox Corp Bhd and Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd (MPI). Bursa Technology index constituents ViTrox and MPI’s share prices pared gains at 5pm after rising to their record highs today.

At 5pm, leading gainer ViTrox settled up 32 sen or 2.37% at RM13.80 after rising to its record high at RM14.50 earlier. MPI closed up 30 sen or 1.47% at RM20.70 after rising to its all-time high at RM20.78.

The Technology index finished up 0.93% to become the top percentage gainer among Bursa’s 29 indices, out of which, 26 ended lower today as global investors evaluated the impact of the scheduled
US presidential election on Nov 3 besides the higher number of world COVID-19 cases.

It was reported that European stocks recovered from early losses today following a bearish Asian session where investors adjusted their risk exposure before the US elections two weeks away.

It was reported that record COVID-19 cases in Europe also weighed on sentiment. "MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 49 countries, slipped as much as 0.2%,” Reuters reported.

Chong Jin Hun