KLCI pares loss; Mah Sing the new darling of investors?

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 20): The main index at Bursa Malaysia pared some of its loss at the midday break today, against the backdrop of weaker regional markets on US election question marks, while Mah Sing Group Bhd looks to be fast emerging as the new darling of investors.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was down 1.36 points to 1,516.75. The index had earlier slipped to a low of 1,514.10.

Market breadth was tepid with 428 losers and 276 gainers, while 656 counters traded unchanged. Trading volume was 6.51 billion shares valued at RM3.22 billion.

The top decliners included Nestle (M) Bhd, PPB Group Bhd, Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd, Dutch Lady Milk Industries Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd, Duopharma Biotech Bhd, Apex Healthcare Bhd, Vstecs Bhd and Prestariang Bhd.

The actively traded stocks included Mah Sing, which continued to march higher this morning, rising 18.5% or 23 sen to RM1.47, just a whisker away from the highest target price (TP) pegged by analysts.

At midday break, the counter pared its gains and was up 12 sen at RM1.36 with 283.4 million shares traded.

Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research analyst Andrew Lim Ken-Wern said in a note today that he remained positive on Mah Sing’s venture into the glove business as it diversifies its earnings base from being reliant on the property market, which is experiencing a slowdown.

The move also allows the company to ride on increased global demand for gloves moving forward, said Lim.

He maintained his "buy" call for the counter, with a higher TP of RM1.41 from 85 sen previously.

Other actively traded stocks included Lambo Group Bhd, Luster Industries Bhd, XOX Bhd, AT Systematization Bhd and Pegasus Heights Bhd.

The gainers included Gets Global Bhd, Scientex Bhd, Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd, Karex Bhd, ViTrox Corp Bhd and Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd.

Reuters said  Asian stocks slipped on Tuesday as investors adjusted risk exposure heading into the US election and as a deadline for Washington to pass an economic stimulus bill approached while Europe reported record daily coronavirus infections.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.11% lower after US stocks ended the previous session in the red. Australian and Japanese markets also dipped and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe was 0.09% lower.

Rakuten Trade said US markets closed lower on the stimulus plans uncertainty as the election date draws near, notwithstanding stronger economic numbers from China.

However, it said Dow Jones Futures had rebounded hence regional markets sentiment should improve from overnight weakness in US markets on the more upbeat China’s economic numbers.

“On our local front, we expect continued interest in the broader market as trading volume continues to improve as gloves, mask and healthcare related stocks would still be in focus as our Covid-19 numbers continue to rise and more people work from home.

“Hence, we advocate investors to take positions and ride the trend,” it said.