KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia joined key Asian markets to trade lower at the midday break on Monday on concerns about the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic’s impact on global economies.
At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was a shade lower by 0.53 of a point to 1,515.33. Turnover was 3.77 billion shares valued at RM1.72bil. There were 420 gainers, 567 losers and 352 counters unchanged.
Reuters reported Asian shares were on the defensive as investors grappled with sky-high valuations against the backdrop of a global economy in the grip of a deep coronavirus-induced recession while oil prices dropped sharply.
China's blue-chip index slipped 0.3%. Japan's Nikkei fell 0.2% with SoftBank coming under heavy selling following media reports it has spent at least US$4bil buying call options on listed US technology stocks.
More than 27.1 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 885,678 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
On the domestic front, there has been no let-up in foreign selling on Bursa, So far in 2020, foreign investors net selling have amounted to RM20.94bil worth of equities on Bursa. “Local players, institutions are net buyers at RM10.21bil and retailers at RM9.77bil, ” MIDF Research said.
Tenaga fell RM12 sen to RM11.04 and it was the biggest loser among the KLCI stocks.
Semicon and tech-related stocks were among the top losers, MPI down 50 sen to RM17.80, UWC 14 sen to RM6.11, Unisem 13 sen to RM3.44 and Vitrox 10 sen to RM12.40. However, KESM gained 11 sen to RM9.20.
Hard-disk drive manufacturer JCY International rose 4.5 sen to 81 sen in active trade
As for glove makers, Supermax fell the most, down 30 sen to RM9.30. However, Hartalega added eight sen to RM14.08 and Top Glove one sen to RM8.39 but they were off their day’s best.
Other decliners were TGuan and PresBhd.
Ekovest added five sen to 53.5 sen and IWCity four sen to 62.5 sen in active trade. It was later revealed that Danga Heights Development (DHD) and MCC Singapore have teamed up to to co-develop 60ha of prime commercial land in Skudai, Johor Bahru. DHD is a subsidiary of Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH)
Consumer stock Nestle was the top gainer, up 90 sen to RM140.50 and Dutch Lady 10 sen to RM39.10.
Petronas Gas recent bumper dividend announcement continue to attract interest as the share price rose 14 sen to RM17.50.
Furniture maker Latitude Tree rose 15 sen to RM2.25 and Poh Huat 11 sen higher to RM1.47 after the sector was upgraded.