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Renewed Consolidation Called For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market bounced higher again on Friday, one session after it had ended the three-day winning streak in which it had collected more than 30 points or 1.7 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,870-point plateau although it's expected to turn lower again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly negative over concerns for the outlook on interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were sharply lower on Friday and the Asian markets figure to follow that lead.

The KLCI finished slightly higher on Friday as gains from the financials and telecoms were tempered by weakness from the industrials and a mixed picture from the plantations.

For the day, the index added 1.90 points or 0.10 percent to finish at 1,870.48 after trading between 1,863.43 and 1,880.56. Volume was 2.6 billion shares worth 3.3 billion ringgit. There were 610 decliners and 404 gainers.

Among the actives, Sime Darby plummeted 3.27 percent, while IJM Corporation tumbled 2.59 percent, Hong Leong Financial surged 2.37 percent, Genting skidded 2.18 percent, Petronas Chemicals dropped 1.47 percent, Telekom Malaysia spiked 0.98 percent, RHB Capital jumped 0.92 percent, YTL Corporation climbed 0.65 percent, Digi.com gained 0.61 percent, Genting Malaysia advanced 0.54 percent, IHH Healthcare added 0.33 percent, IOI Corporation picked up 0.21 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong collected 0.16 percent, Tenaga Nasional was up 0.13 percent and Maybank and CIMB Group were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is brutal as stocks moved sharply lower on Friday as traders worried about the prospect of higher interest rates - extending the pullback last week's record highs.

The Dow tumbled 665.75 points or 2.54 percent to 25,520.96, the NASDAQ slumped 144.92 points or 1.96 percent to 7,240.95 and the S&P 500 fell 59.85 points or 2.12 percent to 2,762.13. For the week, the Dow lost 4.1 percent, the NASDAQ shed 3.5 percent and the S&P plunged 3.9 percent.

The concerns about higher interest rates came after the Labor Department reported stronger than expected job growth and a jump in wages. The Federal Reserve may respond to strong economic growth by hiking interest rates three times in 2018.

A negative reaction to quarterly results from big name tech companies like Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) and Apple (AAPL) also contributed to the selloff.

Crude oil also responded negatively to the jobs report as WTI for March delivery fell 35 cents to $65.45 per barrel.

by RTT Staff Writer

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