KUALA LUMPUR: Glove makers were among the top gainers early Wednesday as the companies continued to attract strong interest due to the on-going coronavirus outbreak.
At 9.25am, the KLCI was up two points or 0.13% to 1,553.48. Turnover was 361.77 million shares valued at RM220.63mil. There were 197 gainers, 140 losers and 223 counters unchanged.
Asian shares and Wall Street futures inched up amid hopes the worst of the coronavirus in China may have passed, although prevailing uncertainty about the outbreak has kept investors wary, Reuters reported.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.1%. Australian shares were up 0.27%, while Japan's Nikkei stock index rose 0.45%.
Asian currencies found support from a slowdown in the spread of coronavirus, but a strong dollar and caution about the rising death toll kept gains in check, while the New Zealand dollar jumped after the central bank dropped its easing bias, Reuters repored.
Hubei, the province at the epicentre of the outbreak, reported the lowest number of new infections since Jan. 31 on Tuesday, with 1,068 new cases. China's senior medical advisor also said the outbreak might be over by April.
At Bursa on Tuesday, local institutions were net buyers at RM30.7mil while retail investors and foreign funds were net sellers at RM16.1mil and RM14.6mil.
Bank Negara is set to announce the GDP growth for the fourth quarter and 2019 and economists caution that the economy is expected to grow at a slower pace this year.
Glove maker Hartalega’s strong results saw its share price climb 12 sen to RM6.12 after its strong results while Kossan and Top Glove rose nine sen each to RM4.89 and RM5.81.
PIE and United Plantations were 10 sen higher at RM1.51 and RM26.40.
MyEG fell two sen to RM1.31 on mild profit taking and it saw 30 million shares changing hands.
KESM fell 20 sen to RM9.98 while Hap Seng was 10 sen lower at RM9.41.
Petronas Dagangan fell 16 sen to RM22.30 and Petronas Chemicals nine sen to RM6.57.