Health-related stocks rise on second wave fears

Other big companies, namely Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd (pic), Supermax Corp Bhd were also hogging the top gainers list.

PETALING JAYA: Fears of a second wave of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic lifted glove makers, hand sanitiser-related firms and healthcare companies.

This was despite the overall weak market sentiment on Bursa Malaysia and other regional markets.

Yesterday, the world’s largest glove manufacturer Top Glove Corp Bhd was the top gainer, surging 9.3% or 68 sen to close the day at RM7.99 per share, its highest ever.

Other big companies, namely Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Supermax Corp Bhd were also hogging the top gainers list.

Investors were buying smaller glove companies including Careplus Group Bhd and Comfort Gloves Bhd, which hit limit-up just before the market closed.

The benchmark index FBM KLCI closed lower by 2.38 points to 1,379.93 points due to challenging economic conditions from longer restricted business and household activity to contain the pandemic.

Across the broader stock exchange, market breadth was negative as 437 losers trumped 456 gainers. A total of 368 counters were unchanged.

This was despite the global crude oil prices remaining above US$30 per barrel after Saudi Arabia announced to voluntarily cut another one million barrels per day starting June to help curb oil glut.

The international benchmark Brent crude oil traded higher at US$30.88 per barrel yesterday, while the US crude oil West Texas Intermediate (WTI) rose to US$24.88.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd research VP Vincent Lau said that investors remain cautious on potential second wave of Covid-19 as more economies are slowly easing up their lockdowns.

This came after South Korea warned of a second wave of Covid-19 on Sunday just as the authorities were starting to ease some pandemic restrictions.

Additionally, in China, there were some new clusters developing in the country.

Meanwhile, around the world, the United States, which is still at the peak of the epidemic, and other hard-hit countries are wrestling with how to reopen their economies without causing the virus infection to surge back.

Back home, the government has started to ease its lockdown, with conditions such as limited seating at restaurants and small-scale gatherings gathering should not exceed 20 people.

“The economy should start its recovery path should there be no spike in new cases, but I expected that the market will remain volatile in the near-term due to the uncertainties of the pandemic, ” Lau told StarBiz.

An analyst pointed out that the market is taking a wait and see approach on the upcoming quarterly results season that will start next week to have a clearer picture of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.

CGS-CIMB has reiterated its forecast on the 30-stock FBM KLCI index to end the year at 1,347 points based on 14.5 times price-earnings ratio as it expected the Malaysian economy to shrink 4.3% this year.

The research house pointed out that the extension of the conditional movement control order (CMCO) is “slightly” negative for corporate earnings as travel-related industries such as casinos and hotels are likely to continue seeing losses during this period, given that inter-state travel is not allowed over the next four weeks.

“We have noticed that some of the businesses that are allowed to open are still remaining closed.

“The key events to watch for are whether more businesses will re-open after May 12, whether restrictions on businesses that were not allowed are further loosened and when number forecast operators (NFO) will re-open. We suspect that the casinos will probably reopen when interstate travel is allowed, ” it said in a report.

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