Bursa Malaysia eked out slight gains on Thursday, thanks to gains in IHH Healthcare and Top Glove, but Key Asian markets were slammed by warnings from the US Federal Reserve and the WHO.
At Bursa, the FBM KLCI closed up 0.12 point or a mere 0.01% to 1,397.25. Turnover was seven billion shares valued at RM4.04bil. Decliners beat advancers 616 to 345 while 327 counters were unchanged.
Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 1.32% while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 1.74%.
At Bursa, Tenaga ended six sen higher at RM12.16, IHH Healthcare rose 12 sen to RM5.47 and pushed the index up 1.64 points.
However, GentingM fell six sen to RM2.25 and Genting seven sen to RM3.94. MISC and MAHB lost 25 sen each to RM7.80 and RM4.75.
Among the glove makers, Top Glove rose 99 sen to RM10.30 and was the biggest mover among the KLCI stocks, adding 3.95 points, Kossan 49 sen to RM7.66 while Hartalega gained 33 sen to RM9.19 and Supermax 27 sen to RM3.87.
Bursa, which benefits from the surge in trading activity, gained 50 sen to RM6.49. On Wednesday, trading volume was at an all-time high of 9.97 billion shares.
Maybank inched up one sen to RM7.40 but Public Bank fell 18 sen to RM15.42 and erased 1.08 points and CIMB was nine sen lower at RM3.41.
Hartalega added 33 sen to RM9.19 and lifted the KLCI 1.74 points while Top Glove’s 99 sen gain to RM10.30 powered the index up 3.95 points. Kossan rose 49 sen to RM7.66.
As for telcos, Maxis and Axiata rose two sen each to RM5.32 and RM3.94 while Digi lost nine sen to RM4.42 and erased 1.09 points.
Petronas Chemicals lost two sen to RM5.40, Petronas Dagangan was flat at RM19.72 but Petronas Gas added 10 sen to RM15.04. Dialog eased two sen to RM3.33.
As for plantations, Sime Plantation rose two sen to RM4.75, IOI Corp fell four sen to RM3.95 and PPB Group six sen lower at RM16.34. KL Kepong skidded 82 sen to RM19.82.
Reuters reported the head of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell’s quashed talk of US interest rates going negative to kickstart investment and new outbreaks of the virus in South Korea and China and some dour assessments of the global economy aroused concern too.
Extinguishing recovery hopes was a statement by the World Health Organization that the coronavirus may never go away.
Reuters reported Hong Kong shares closed at their lowest in more than a week on Thursday, the Hang Seng index was down 1.45%, at 23,829.74, the lowest since May 4. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 1.51% to 9,687.1.
China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.96% at 2,870.34, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 1.08%.