KUALA LUMPUR: A surge in new Covid-19 infections forced key Asian markets to retreat further at midday on Monday, including Bursa Malaysia, which was also impacted by a downgrade in its outlook by S&P Global Ratings.
Weaker May exports also dented sentiment though it recorded a rebound in its trade surplus. Exports totalled RM62.69bil, down by 25.5% while imports decreased by 30.4% to RM52.27bil, according to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 10.72 points or 0.72% to 1,477.42. Turnover was 3.42 billion shares but the quality of trade was low at RM1.19bil. Decliners beat advancers 706 to 216 while 334 counters were unchanged.
Reuters reported stocks in the Philippines and South Korea fell most as markets in Asia caught up with a drop in major US indexes on Friday after several states there halted plans to reopen economies due to a jump in cases. The death toll from Covid-19 reached half a million people and confirmed cases topped 10 million on Sunday, according to a Reuters tally.
“Malaysian stocks slipped after ratings agency S&P Global on Friday downgraded the country's outlook to negative from stable, citing risks to its economy and the government's fiscal metrics due to the pandemic and the pressure on oil prices, ” Reuters reported.
"Based on data from Bursa, international investors sold RM624.7m net of local equities last week, ” MIDF said in its weekly fund flow report.
“So far in 2020, foreign investors have sold RM16.4bil net on Bursa. In comparison with the other six Asian markets we track, Malaysia still has the fourth smallest foreign net outflow on a year-to-date basis, ” it added.
Heineken fell the most, down 66 sen to RM21.82, Carlsberg 54 sen to RM24.94 but Ajinomoto gained 54 sen to RM16.36 and Nestle 10 sen higher at RM138.80.
Petronas Dagangan lost 34 sen to to RM20.66 and Yinson 18 sen lower at RM5.71.
Among semicon-related stocks Pentamaster and KESM lost 26 sen each to M5.05 and RM7.40.
PPB Group was the top loser among plantations, down 26 sen to RM17.62 but United Malacca climbed 27 sen to RM4.58. However, Batu Kawan added eight sen to RM14.48.
Milux, which attracted buying interest on Friday in the absence of any strong positive news, fell 25 sen to RM1.50.
Rising Covid-19 infections increased investors’ appetite for glove makers again. Supermax climbed 29 sen to RM7.14, Top Glove 12 sen to RM15.02 and Comfort Glove seven sen to RM2.84.
Gamuda and TimeCom also traded higher.
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