KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia started Wednesday on a firmer footing as investors picked up healthcare stocks and glove makers following the outbreak of the new strain of coronavirus from China.
At 9.37am, the KLCI was up 6.76 points or 0.43% to 1,594.09. Turnover was 727.28 million shares valued at RM334.81mil. There were 227 gainers, 221 losers and 289 counters unchanged.
At Bursa on Tuesday, foreign funds were net buyers at RM49mil while local institutions were net sellers at RM37.8mil and retail investor RM11.1mil.
Reuters reported Asian share markets steadied as investors took stock of the spread of coronavirus and weighed the possible consequences of a global pandemic.
Fears of contagion, particularly as millions travel for Lunar New Year festivities, knocked stocks from record levels on Tuesday as investors swapped them for safer assets.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan spent the morning trading either side of flat. Japan's Nikkei opened 0.1% lower, before steadying to trade flat, as did Korea's Kospi index, Reuters reported.
At Bursa, Top Glove rose 32 sen to RM5.43, Kossan 29 sen to RM4.76, Hartalega 24 sen to RM6.04 while Supermax gained 13 sen to RM1.58.
Among the few healthcare stocks, IHH Healthcare added 17 sen to RM5.90.
Powerwell Holdings, which was listed on the ACE Market, rose 2.5 sen to 27.5 sen with 179.3 million shares done.
Plantations were among the top losers, with United Plantations and KL Kepong down 10 sen each to RM16.10 and RM24.30 while IJM Plantations lost nine sen to RM2.08.
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