Bursa Malaysia likely to trade in tight range

Mounting concerns: The equities market will also see uncertainty regarding the US presidential elections on Trump’s reported coronavirus infection. — Bloomberg

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia is expected to trade within a tight range of 1,495 to 1,505 this week amid mounting concerns over escalating Covid-19 cases that investors fear would slow down global economic recovery and influence the local bourse.

The equities market would also see uncertainty regarding the US presidential elections as news broke that Donald Trump has been infected with the coronavirus.

“The week may see cautious trading following news that US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania had tested positive for Covid-19, exacerbating uncertainties in the runup to the US presidential elections next month, ” AxiCorp chief global market strategist Stephen Innes told Bernama.

On the flip side he said, the increasing number of new Covid-19 cases would help boost the local healthcare counters such as Top Glove, Hartalega, Kossan Rubber and Supermax, which were among the top gainers last week.

The FBM KLCI closed Friday trading 0.24% up at 1500.3 points, boosted by glove counters namely Hartalega and Top Glove which gained 7.6% and 3.9% respectively, amid the recent rise in Covid-19 cases.

The Bursa Healthcare Index was up 2.2%, the highest among sectors.

“We opine that rubber gloves will remain a thematic play in the medium term, ” said Bank Islam economist Adam Mohamed Rahim.

On the week just ended, Bursa Malaysia was on range bound trading, moved by the improved finance and banking counters following the end of the blanket loan repayment moratorium, which may put the gross impaired loans ratio at a manageable level as the banking industry begins the targeted moratorium approach.

Performance on the local bourse and its regional peers was also in sync with the Wall Street movement which started its week on a high note, on expectations that a stimulus package would be agreed on.

The Asian markets were also upbeat following the release of strong Chinese economic data in September, indicating recovery in the world’s number two economy.

However, market for the week was sour for plantation company FGV Holdings Bhd after the US Customs and Border Protection decided to impose a withhold release order on its palm oil and palm oil products, putting other plantation stocks at risk.

On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the FBM KLCI ended 8.84 points lower at 1,500.30 from 1,509.14 previously.

On the scoreboard, the FBM Emas Index slipped 19.11 points to 10,821.70, the FBMT 100 Index eased 18.31 points to 10,650.20 and the FBM Emas Syariah Index declined 40.79 points to 12.921.63.

The FBM 70 contracted 148.69 points to 14,198.98 while the FBM ACE Index lost 23.34 points to 10,003.88.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index advanced 51.91 points to 12,379.53, the Plantation Index depreciated 148.31 points to 6,906.81 and the Technology Index was up 1.79 points at 55.78.

The Healthcare Index advanced 111.98 points to 3,884.71 and the Industrial Products and Services Index inched up 1.69 points to 136.48.

Weekly turnover fell to 26.38 billion units valued at RM16.44bil from the 33.09 billion units valued at RM20.31bil recorded last week.

Main Market volume shrank to 13.32 billion shares worth RM12.44bil from 17.50 billion shares worth RM15.64bil.

Warrants turnover was down to 2.54 billion units valued at RM681.06mil versus 3.24 billion units valued at RM859.92mil. — Bernama

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