The Indonesia stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last five trading days since the end of the three-day winning streak in which it had risen more than 85 points or 2.2 percent. The Jakarta Composite Index finished just above the 4,255-point plateau, and now investors are bracing for continued weakness when the market opens on Tuesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is slightly soft, with investors expected to lock in gains after rallying in recent sessions. Adding to the cautious sentiment are weak economic data from the U.S. and concerns of an escalation of hostilities between China and Japan over a group of disputed islands. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses are tipped to open in similar fashion.
The JCI finished flat on Monday as weakness from the plantation stocks was offset by gains from the financials and resource stocks.
For the day, the index eased 1.71 points or 0.04 percent to finish at 4,255.28 after trading between 4,236.83 and 4,272.83.
Among the actives, Astra Agro Lestari dropped 1.09 percent, while Bank Mandiri jumped 1.26 percent, Bank Negara Indonesia spiked 1.94 percent, Bumi Resources surged 2.38 percent, Vale Indonesia climbed 2.80 percent and Semen Gresik collected 0.71 percent.
The lead from Wall Street suggests mild consolidation as stocks moved mostly lower on Monday, with traders cashing in on last week's Federal Reserve-inspired rally. Selling pressure remained relatively subdued, however, limiting the downside for the markets.
Profit taking contributed to the weakness, which came after recent gains lifted the major averages to multi-year highs. The Dow and the S&P 500 both ended Friday's trading at their best closing levels in over four years, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ reached a nearly 12-year closing high.
Last week's rally followed the Federal Reserve's announcement of its plans to launch a third round of quantitative easing in an effort to boost the sluggish economy. The Fed said it would purchase additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month, and it will continue the purchases until the outlook for the labor market improves.
Disappointing manufacturing data also helped to drag stocks lower, with the New York Federal Reserve reporting that conditions for New York manufacturers have deteriorated further in September. The New York Fed said its general business conditions index fell to -10.41 in September from -5.85 in August, with a negative reading indicating a contraction in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had been expecting -2.0.
In corporate news, shares of Lowe's (LOW) closed moderately lower after the home improvement retailer announced that it has withdrawn its offer to acquire Canadian rival Rona for C$14.50 per share in cash.
The major U.S. averages were in the red on Monday as the Dow fell 40.27 points or 0.3 percent to finish at 13,553.10, while the NASDAQ edged down 5.28 points or 0.2 percent to end at 3,178.67 and the S&P 500 slipped 4.58 points or 0.3 percent to close at 1,461.19.
by RTT Staff Writer
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