Market advances on better-than-expected GDP, rubber glove rally

  • Markets
  • Wednesday, 13 May 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia rallied on Wednesday as Bank Negara revealed a better-than-expected result for Malaysia's economy in the first quarter.

The central bank announced at noon that the country's GDP expanded 0.7% in the first three months of 2020, beating the median forecast of a 3.6% contraction by a Reuters poll of economists.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KCI had risen 18.54 points to 1,398.47. Trading volume was 5.79 billion shares valued at RM2.85bil. There were 401 gainers compared to 459 decliners and 335 counters unchanged.

From the start of Wednesday trading, the domestic market headed higher on positive investor sentiment and as rubber glove stocks continued their upward trend.

Investors went on a buying spree amid analyst reports that the earnings boost to rubber glove manufacturers from the coronavirus pandemic may be underappreciated even as a second wave of the pandemic threatens to hit countries lifting their lockdowns.

Among the index-linked producers, Top Glove jumped RM1.31 to RM9.30 and Hartalega climbed RM1.09 to RM8.62.

Kossan Rubber surged RM1.05 to RM7.35 while Supermax added 48 sen to RM3.91 and Comfort Gloves gained 39 sen to RM2.66.

On the KLCI, other stocks that were leading gains included IHH up 23 sent o RM5.39, IOI rising 18 sen to RM4.03, CIMB adding eight sen to RM3.49 and MISC jumping 16 sen to RM8.12.

Tenaga Nasional was seen slumping 14 sen to RM12.10 while Maybank shed two sen to RM7.42.

Of actives, K1 rose 10.5 sen to 35.5 sen, HLT gained 26 sen to 64 sen and BCM Alliance rose seven sen to 27.5 sen.

The prospects of a second wave of the pandemic knocked oil prices lower. US crude was down 17 cents to US$25.61 a barrel and Brent crude dropped 44 cents to US$29.54 a barrel.

On the forex market, the ringgit fell 0.25% to 4.3350 against the US dollar, 0.3% against the pound sterling to 5.3177 and 0.25% against the Singapore dollar at 3.0565.
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