Glove stocks swing wildly
INVESTORS in glove companies needed a strong stomach to deal with this week’s wild swings in prices.
Shares in the so-called big four producers – Top Glove Corp Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Kossan Rubber Bhd and Supermax Corp Bhd surged to new highs early in the week as a torrent of fresh upgrades by analysts sparked renewed buying frenzy in the market.
Their sharp gains helped the FBM KLCI breached the 1,600 points level on Monday.
But investors were in for a roller coaster ride on Tuesday, followed by a massive profit taking on Wednesday that wiped out more than RM10bil in market capitalisation for the big four.
CGS-CIMB Research, in a note on Wednesday, said glove stocks remain attractive as key beneficiaries of the strong global glove demand due to Covid-19, leading to expectations of record-breaking profits in the next two to three quarters.
It said the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association has projected a robust 20% growth in glove demand, reaching 330 billion pieces in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic,
Jobless rate hit 5.3% in May
AN estimated 47,300 Malaysians lost their job in May, raising the number of the unemployed to 826,100, or 5.3% of the country’s total workforce.
Malaysia has a total workforce of 15.71 million people.
According to the Statistics Department, the number of employed persons who were temporarily not working was reduced by more than half to 2.27 million persons in May, compared with 4.87 million persons in April.
This group of people, who were most likely not able to work from home was not categorised as unemployed as they had work to return to.
If this group of people were adjusted as unemployed in the absence of work after the MCO, the unemployment rate would be much higher.
The Department expects the labour situation in the country to “improve slightly” in June, while in the medium term up to the second half of 2020, further progress is deemed possible.
“Through various initiatives by the Government, in addition to new creative businesses models innovated, the labour market may find its way to a recovery path, ” it said on Tuesday.
Circuit breaker trips Singapore into deep technical recession
SINGAPORE suffered its biggest ever slump in the second quarter as the “circuit breaker” measures implemented from April 7 to June 1 to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic hammered its economy.
Gross domestic product (GDP) plunged 12.6% in the three month ended June 30 from a year ago, according to official early estimates released by the government on Tuesday.
On a quarterly basis, the economy contracted at a staggering rate of 41.2%% on a seasonally adjusted annualised basis, after a 3.3% drop in the preceding three months.
This means Singapore has fallen into a technical recession after its economy contracted for two consecutive quarters.
Trade reliant Singapore is one the first Asian economies to publish quarterly data, and is is often seen as a bellwether for the region.
Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Tuesday said the economic recovery in the months ahead will be “challenging”, with the journey “slow and uneven.” To nurse the economic pain, Singapore has announced four support packages worth close to S$100bil, or nearly 20% of GDP, so far.’
SHARES in Pharmaniaga Bhd and Duopharma Biotech Bhd jumped on Wednesday after a minister said that the two companies have been given the “fill-finish” manufacturing task for the Covid-19 vaccine, once the vaccine becomes available.
Under the plan, the government will procure the vaccine in bulk and utilise the manufacturing facilities at Pharmaniaga and Duopharma to package the product, Science and Technology Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on Tuesday.
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