KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 14): Taking a cue from the overnight declines at Wall Street, the FBM KLCI slipped 0.13% or 1.95 points to close at 1,523.25 points today.
Overall market sentiment, however, was positive despite the benchmark index's fall, with 523 counters posting gains, 515 counters unchanged and 443 counters posting declines. Trading volume stood at 7.03 billion shares, up from the 5.97 billion yesterday, with a total turnover of RM6.26 billion.
Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong told theedgemarkets.com that the performance of the local benchmark index had mirrored the overnight contraction seen on Wall Street, as a result of stalling US stimulus talks and Covid-19 vaccine trials.
“The decline, however, was partly mitigated by the performance of rubber glove counters today,” Wong said, adding the higher trading volume seen could be partly attributed to investors seeking to ensure their portfolio exposure to tech and rubber glove stocks is greater, in preparation for the release of third-quarter earnings that are expected to be higher on a quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) basis.
The stronger demand for rubber glove stocks has also been driven by the resurgence in Covid-19 cases in the country, he said, as well as news that Top Glove Corp Bhd is listing in Hong Kong and Supermax Corp Bhd and Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd could be included in the FBM KLCI.
Top active stocks today included Metronic Global Bhd, Kanger International Bhd and ES Ceramics Technology Bhd, while the gainers list were led by Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Rubberex Corp (M) Bhd and Hartalega Holdings Bhd. The top losers, on the other hand, were Nestle (Malaysia) Bhd, Heineken Malaysia Bhd and Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd.
According to Reuters, Asian shares slipped today following news of some halted Covid-19 vaccine trials, and an impasse in US stimulus talks soured risk appetite, while oil was hit by demand concerns amid increasing coronavirus cases.
“The losses began on Wall Street Tuesday when Johnson & Johnson said it was pausing a Covid-19 vaccine trial due to a study participant's unexplained illness. Eli Lilly and Co later said it too had paused the clinical trial of its Covid-19 antibody treatment due to a safety concern, leading the US equity market to deepen losses," the news agency wrote.
Also weighing on sentiment was the faded hopes for the passage of a new coronavirus relief package, as US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected a US$1.8 trillion relief proposal from the White House, it reported.
Key indices across the region, meanwhile, were a mixed bag.
While the Hong Kong Hang Seng finished 0.07% or 17.41 points higher at 24,667.09, its counterpart in Shanghai, the Shanghai Composite, fell 0.56% or 18.97 points to close at 3,340.78. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.11% or 24.95 points at 23,626.73, while the Kospi in South Korea was down 0.94% or 22.67 points at 2,380.48.