Gloves give KLCI much needed lift as Covid cases climb

KUALA LUMPUR: Glove makers gave the FBM KLCI the much-needed lift as the Covid-19 cases rose to 4,498 – the highest since late January – while also advancing were IHH Healthcare and plantations.

At 5pm, the KLCI was up 9.12 points or 0.58% to 1,587.45. Turnover was 5.39 billion shares valued at RM3.41bil. The broader market was firmer with 627 gainers, 426 losers and 459 counters were unchanged.

Among the glove makers, Adventa rose 40 sen to RM2.08, Hartalega 31 sen to RM9.56, Top Glove 20 sen to RM5.26 and Supermax nine sen to RM4.96.

Top gainers of the day were Cycle & Carriage Bintang (CCB), up 59 sen to RM3 and Widetec 49 sen to RM2.15.

As for plantations, KL Kepong was up 32 sen to RM22.52, Sime Plantation added 12 sen to RM4.71, PPB Group six sen to RM18.70 and IOI Corp two sen to RM4.10.

Among the energy stocks, Petronas Chemicals ended the day with a gain of 11 sen to RM8.30, Petronas Gas rose two sen to RM15.70 but Petronas Dagangan lost 20 sen to RM19.30. Dialog was unchanged at RM3.04.

US light crude oil fell 17 cents to US$64.54 while Brent was down 12 cents to US$67.97.

IHH Healthcare was up by five sen to RM5.66. Bloomberg reported on Thursday that Mitsui, which owns a 32.9% stake in IHH Healthcare worth around $12 billion, plans to take IHH private.

As for banks, CIMB gained five sen to RM4.16, Public Bank and Maybank one sen each to RM4.10 and RM8.24 but Hong Leong Bank slipped eight sen to RM17.52.

Telcos were subdued with Axiata down nine sen to RM3.68, Maxis five sen to RM4.52 and Digi one sen to RM4.19 but Telekom managed to eke out a gain of two sen to RM5.79.

Reuters reported in Hong Kong, stocks slipped to post weekly losses, weighed down by tech firms sensitive to tensions between China and the West.

The Hang Seng index was down 26.81 points or 0.09% at 28,610.65. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 0.53% to 10,699.

The wire reported in Shanghai, China stocks ended the week lower, as worries over lofty valuations and China-West tensions offset optimism surrounding data and survey pointing to a continued recovery in the world's second-largest economy.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 1.3% to 4,996.05, while the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.6% to 3,418.87. For the shortened week, CSI300 declined 2.5%, while SSEC dipped 0.8%.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei share average ended higher as investors scooped up cheap technology stocks, while concerns around the slow economic recovery due to the extension of COVID-19 emergency measures capped gains.

The Nikkei share average ticked up 0.09% to close at 29,357.82, while the broader Topix rose 0.29% to 1,933.05.

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