Investor interest shifts from rubber gloves to pharmaceuticals

top glove

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI edged slightly lower on Wednesday as investors continued their profit-taking on glove counters on news of several vaccines being in their final stage of testing.

At 12.30pm, the key index was down 0.43 points to 1,595.6. Trading volume was 5.4 billion shares valued at RM2.8bil.

The pause in rubber glove stocks has kept the FBM KLCI hovering below the 1,600 line, despite analysts upgrading their target prices on the counters on expectations of continued upward movement in the average selling prices over the medium term .

“In our view, Top Glove can continue to charge a premium in the next six months given the acute shortage,” said Maybank Investment Bank Research, which revised its target price on the counter higher to RM28.60.

Nevertheless, optimism over progress in drug trials sent the counters lower with Hartalega dropping 40 sen to RM17.60 and Top Glove slipping four sen to RM24.90.

Investors however shifted their interest to pharmaceutical stocks as the vaccine hopes served to offer potential upsides.

Pharmaniaga jumped RM1.05 to RM4.55, Duopharma climbed 68 sen to RM2.96, Apex Healthcare gained 90 sen to RM3.96 and Kotra added 81 sen to RM3.56.

Among the most actively traded stocks, Sapura Energy rose 0.5 sen to 10.5 sen, Lambo dropped 0.5 sen to four sen and VS slid one sen to seven sen.

Meanwhile in crude oil markets, prices were dampened by the soaring number of global coronavirus cases. US crude was down 22 cents to US$41.70 a barrel and Brent crude fell 20 cents to US$44.12 a barrel.

On the currency market, the ringgit gained 0.2% against the weaker US dollar to 4.2533. It was flat against the pound sterling at 5.4098 and down 0.2% against the Singapore dollar to 3.0725.

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