Counters over the breadth of the stock exchange seemed quite evenly spaced between gainers and decliners although the top 30 large caps on the FBM KCLI were mostly lower.
Glove makers rose to record highs on the prospect of the coronavirus pandemic drawing out over a longer period of time. According to reports, a prospective drug to treat the virus being formulated by Gilead Sciences failed to help severely ill patients at its first clinical trial.
Top Glove led the pack with a 26 sen lift to RM7.16. Kossan was up 15 sen to RM5.60, Supermax gained 14 sen to RM2.44 and Hartalega grew 10 sen to RM7.60.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 7.64 points to 1,374. There were 2.6 billion shares traded for a combined value of RM1.15bil. On the broader market, there were 387 gainers versus 321 decliners and 336 counters unchanged.
The three most active stocks were Sanichi unchanged at 4.5 sen, Velesto unchanged at 14.5 sen and AirAsia X unchanged at 11 sen.
Leading the fall on the benchmark index was Digi, which released disappointing first-quarter earnings yesterday. The telco slid 15 sen to RM4.35 while sector peers Axiata dropped eight sen to RM3.71 and Maxis shed three sen to RM5.32.
In the banking sector, Public Bank was down four sen to RM15.82, Hong Leong Bank fell six sen to RM13.24, Maybank dipped two sen to RM7.40 and RHB edged one sen lower to RM4.70. CIMB was the sole gainer among the leading banks, rising three sen to RM3.52 as it recovered some of its losses from a sell-off earlier in the week.
Oil markets meanwhile continued their recovery after the Tuesday crash that sent US crude deep into negative territory. Brent crude gained US$1.07 or 5% to US$22.40 a barrel and US crude was US$1.02 or 6.2% higher at US$17.52 a barrel.
On the forex market, the ringgit slipped 0.1% against the greenback at 4.3600 and 0.1% against the pound sterling at 5.3842. It was unchanged against the Singapore dollar at 3.0569.
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