Healthcare, rubber glove counters lift Bursa Malaysia higher at midday


KUALA LUMPUR – Bursa Malaysia extended earlier gains to close the morning session firmer on buying support in selected heavyweights led by rubber glove makers and healthcare stocks due to concerns over the new IHU COVID-19 variant, dealers said.

At 12.30 pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 3.83 points to 1,545.73 from Tuesday’s closing of 1,541.9.

The index, which opened 0.51 of-a-point better at 1,542.41, moved between 1,541.7 and 1,549.53 throughout the session.

Market breadth was positive with gainers trouncing losers 532 to 308, while 399 counters were unchanged, 1,034 untraded and 16 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 2.69 billion units valued at RM1.03 billion.

The IHU variant, or B.1.640.2, was first detected in southern France last month and reportedly has more mutations than Omicron.

Among the rubber glove counters, Top Glove jumped 14 sen or 6.01 per cent to RM2.47, Hartalega soared 25 sen (4.53 per cent) to RM5.77, Supermax surged seven sen (4.86 per cent) to RM1.51, and Kossan advanced nine sen (4.81 per cent) to RM1.96.

Meanwhile, IHH Healthcare rose seven sen or 1.03 per cent to RM6.89.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd, in a note, said FBM KLCI is anticipated to trend within the 1,540 and 1,550 range today.

Among the heavyweights, Public Bank gained two sen to RM4.15 while CIMB bagged five sen to RM5.47.

Maybank trimmed four sen to RM8.32, Petronas Chemicals shed three sen to RM8.75, while Tenaga and Press Metal were flat at RM9.18 and RM5.70, respectively.

Of the actives, Key Alliance and XOX inched up half-a-sen each to two sen and 3.5 sen, respectively, SMTrack and Bintai slipped half-a-sen each to 25 sen and 20 sen, respectively, while ATA slid two sen to 65 sen.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index was 34 points higher at 11,235.23, the FBM Emas Shariah Index earned 42.76 points to 12,097.78, the FBMT 100 Index increased 30.48 points to 10,923.32, the FBM ACE advanced 65.31 points to 6,637.62, and the FBM 70 went up 54.81 points to 14,358.39.

Sector-wise, the Plantation Index improved 7.42 points to 6,636.34, the Financial Services Index bagged 20.12 points to 15,653.99, while the Industrial Products and Services Index slipped 0.25 of-a-point to 201.7.