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Win Streak May End For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market has finished higher in back-to-back trading days, collecting more than 25 points or 1.4 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,840-point plateau although it figures to spin its wheels on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly negative thanks to growing concerns over interest rates and a drop in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were sharply lower and the Asian bourses figure to follow suit.

The KLCI finished slightly higher on Thursday as gains from the financials and telecoms were offset by weakness from the plantations and industrials.

For the day, the index gained 2.76 points or 0.15 percent to finish at 1,839.44 after trading between 1,834.83 and 1,842.65. Volume was 2.1 billion shares worth 2.1 billion ringgit. There were 577 gainers and 365 decliners.

Among the actives, Westport Holdings surged 6.31 percent, while Genting Malaysia plummeted 2.02 percent, MISC soared 1.67 percent, Axiata spiked 1.48 percent, Sime Darby tumbled 1.43 percent, YTL Corporation jumped 1.38 percent, Digi.com climbed 0.62 percent, Genting dropped 0.44 percent, Petronas Chemicals skidded 0.38 percent, CIMB Group collected 0.28 percent, Tenaga Nasional lost 0.25 percent, Maybank added 0.20 percent, Public Bank gained 0.18 percent and IOI Corporation and Astro Malaysia Holdings were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is brutal as stocks quickly shrugged off an early move to the upside on Thursday, and tumbled deep into negative territory.

The Dow shed 1,032.89 points or 4.15 percent to 23,860.46, while the NASDAQ lost 274.82 points or 3.90 percent to 6,777.16 and the S&P 500 fell 100.66 points or 3.75 percent to 2,581.00.

The lead from Wall Street is awful as the mid-day sell-off sent the Dow into correction territory. Stocks have tumbled from record highs over the past week as traders grew concerned about inflation and higher interest rates.

In economic news, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan said on Thursday that the recent correction in U.S. stocks will have little impact on the broader economy, a sign that the FOMC still plans to raise interest rates at least three times in 2018.

Crude oil futures fell Thursday, slipping to their lowest in five weeks due to a stronger dollar and demand concerns. WTI light sweet crude oil was down 64 cents or 1 percent to $61.15/bbl.

Closer to home, Malaysia will report December numbers for industrial and manufacturing production later today; in November, they were up an annual 5.0 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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