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Investors lose nerve over Covid fears, glove stocks see renewed interest

KUALA LUMPUR: There was broad-based selling on Bursa Malaysia as it entered midday, as fears over another wave of the Covid-19 pandemic loomed over Europe.

There were 617 counters in the red compared to just 143 gainers and 302 stocks unchanged at the end of morning trading.

Market sentiment has remained weak in the closing days of the what has been a mostly disappointing corporate reporting season, made worse by renewed Covid-19 fears as the number of global cases appeared to be increasing.

In Malaysia, the number of daily Covid infections appear to have returned to an uptrend with 6,144 new cases reported yesterday.

At 12.30pm, the benchmark FBM KLCI was down 3.91 points to 1,513.69 with 24 of the 30 component stocks in negative territory.

Glove counters provided a rare bright spot on the domestic market as it attacted renewed buying interest amid news of Slokavia joining Austria as the second country in Europe to enter a Covid-19 lockdown.

Top Glove jumped 23 sen or over 10% to RM2.48 while Hartalega climbed 39 sen to RM5.52.

Among smaller rivals, Supermax gained 14 sen to RM1.75, Kossan added 15 sen to RM2.14, Comfort Gloves put on eight sen to RM1.15 and Rubberex rose three sen to 54.5 sen.

Other sectors on Bursa Malaysia went in the opposite direction.

Ahead of the banks earnings, the Bursa Malaysia financial services index dipped 0.6% to 93.29, with selling all of the heavyweights.

Maybank, which released its earnings yesterday, fell three sen to RM8.08. Public Bank dropped two sen to RM4, CIMB lost six sen to RM5.11 and Hong Leong Bank slid 14 sen to RM18.18.

Telcos were also behind, dragged lower by Digi down five sen to RM4.13 and Maxis slipping seven sen to RM452 while Axiata dropped six sen to RM3.94 ahead of its earnings announcement later today.

Meanwhile, on the broader market, top actives were Borneo Oil unchanged at 2.5 sen, G3 down 2.5 sen to 10.5 sen and VSolar staying flat at 1.5 sen.

In Asian markets, the US market holiday shifted investor attention from Wall Street to Europe, where fears of a Christmas season lockdown mounted.

Japan’s Nikkei slumped 2.7% while South Korea’s Kospi dropped 1.25%. In China, the main index fell 0.5% although Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dove 2.1%.

Australia’s ASX200 was down 1.7% minutes from the close.



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