Bursa healthcare gauge top gainer on pandemic concerns

Bursa healthcare gauge top gainer on pandemic concerns
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KUALA LUMPUR (April 26): Bursa Malaysia’s healthcare index gained the most in terms of percentage among the bourse's indices today, on investor concern over the rising number of new Covid-19 cases worldwide.

The healthcare index closed 3.1% or 101.56 points up at a two-month high of 3,382.38.

The healthcare gauge includes rubber glove manufacturers. The big four rubber glove stocks, Top Glove Corp Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Supermax Corp Bhd and Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd, were among the day's top gainers.

The FBM KLCI's higher close today was also contributed by the rise in the three glove-related constituents. Supermax rose 33 sen or 5.55% to RM6.28, Hartalega added 40 sen or 3.71% to RM11.18, and Top Glove was 17 sen or 2.97% higher at RM5.90. The three counters are all trading at two-month highs.

Meanwhile, Kossan jumped 36 sen or 8.28% higher to a four-month high of RM4.71.

Among the lower liners, glove maker Careplus Group Bhd was the third biggest gainer on Bursa, closing 51 sen or 22.67% higher at RM2.76. The counter was also on the top active list with 170.38 million shares traded.

The active list also included glove maker Rubberex Corp (M) Bhd (up 4.29% at RM1.40), hospital bed supplier LKL International Bhd (up 6.06% at 35 sen) and glove line dipping firm HLT Global Bhd (up 12.28% at RM1.28).

In a note today, TA Securities Holdings Bhd wrote that sector-wise, rubber glove, healthcare and technology-related counters should continue to outperform the broader market on strong demand, following the exponential surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide.

“On stock picks for this week, key rubber glove makers such as Hartalega, Kossan, Supermax, Top Glove, Careplus, Comfort Gloves Bhd, HLT Global and Rubberex should continue to attract bargain hunters on any share price dips, given the worsening exponential growth in Covid-19 cases worldwide, which should underpin the strong demand and profit outlook,” said the research house.

Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) Research also viewed that defensive plays into healthcare-related stocks should continue to shore up glove companies, given the spike in global coronavirus cases that may derail the reopening of economies and dampen the earnings outlook.

Recovery plays, on the other hand, may trend sideways after recent sharp rallies, HLIB added in a note.

Lam Jian Wyn & S. Kanagaraju