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By Zairina Zainudin
KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 -- Persistent buying momentum in index-linked counters, led by Press Metal and rubber glove stocks, helped Bursa Malaysia's key index to end the day on a firm note despite a weaker broader market.
The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 9.97 points to finish at its intra-day high of 1,608.25 against Wednesday’s close of 1,598.28.
The index, which opened 1.53 points higher at 1,599.81, fell as low as 1,597.78 during the day.
Aluminium extrusion company Press Metal saw its share price soar 68 sen to RM10.70 with 7.74 million shares changing hands today, contributing 5.195 points to the composite index as investors expected the hike in aluminium prices would spur the group's earnings.
As for rubber glove makers, Top Glove rose 31 sen to RM5.44, Hartalega increased 53 sen to RM10.00, and Supermax bagged 50 sen to RM5.10. These rubber glove stocks contributed a combined 10.824 points to FBM KLCI.
A dealer said buying interest in rubber gloves resurfaced as COVID-19 infections in the country continued to show an uptrend.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, earlier today tweeted that the number of new COVID-19 cases in Malaysia had surpassed the 2,000 mark with 2,148 cases reported in the last 24 hours.
The last time the country recorded more than 2,000 daily cases was on March 5, with 2,154 cases.
On the broader market, losers outnumbered gainers by more than twofold -- 801 to 324 -- while 731 counters were unchanged, 323 untraded and 27 others suspended.
Total volume increased to 6.52 billion shares valued at RM4.74 billion from 5.91 billion shares worth RM2.99 billion on Wednesday.
Of the heavyweights, Public Bank and Petronas Chemicals gained three sen each to RM4.23 and RM7.91 respectively, while Maybank slipped one sen to RM8.30, Tenaga shed four sen to RM10.12, and IHH Healthcare declined five sen to RM5.35.
Among the active counters, LKL trimmed 1.5 sen to 34 sen, Focus Dynamics contracted 11 sen to 24 sen, Minda added one sen to 16 sen, G3 Global gained five sen to 21.5 sen, while AT Systematization was flat at 9.5 sen.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index was 16.99 points higher at 11,851.83, the FBMT 100 increased 26.21 points to 11,508.85, and the FBM Emas Shariah advanced 48.74 points to 13,251.45,
However, the FBM 70 gave up 138.12 points to 15,700.39 and the FBM ACE dropped 470.2 points to 8,863.3.
Sector-wise, the Plantation Index reduced 38.45 points to 6,930.37 and the Financial Services Index went down 11.15 points to 15,110.08, but the Industrial Products and Services Index added 1.49 points to 196.41.
Main Market volume decreased to 3.7 billion shares valued at RM3.64 billion from 3.39 billion shares worth RM2.27 billion on Wednesday.
Warrants turnover increased sharply to 509.46 million units valued at RM67.77 million from yesterday’s 353.69 million units valued at RM50.75 million.
Volume on the ACE Market slipped to 2.31 billion shares worth RM1.04 billion from 2.33 billion shares worth RM674.41 million previously.
Consumer products and services accounted for 968.12 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (1.14 billion), construction (129.67 million), technology (375.31 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (69.98 million), property (306.73 million), plantations (22.8 million), REITs (9.9 million), closed/fund (15,200), energy (330.15 million), healthcare (179.48 million), telecommunications and media (51.45 million), transportation and logistics (71.22 million), and utilities (48.07 million).