Plus   Neg

Win Streak May End For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market has finished higher in five straight sessions, collecting almost 50 points or 2.7 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,870-point plateau although investors may cash in on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft as geopolitical concerns may offer investors an excuse to lock in gains following recent strength. The European and U.S. markets were down, and the Asian markets are expected to follow suit.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Wednesday following gains from the financial shares and plantation stocks.

For the day, the index advanced 8.91 points or 0.48 percent to finish at 1,869.89 after trading between 1,863.30 and 1,871.73. Volume was 4.652 billion shares worth 3.209 billion ringgit. There were 736 gainers and 322 decliners.

Among the actives, Astro Malaysia Holdings skyrocketed 14.61 percent, while Sime Darby surged 2.55 percent, CIMB Group soared 2.27 percent, Maybank spiked 1.15 percent, Telekom Malaysia jumped 0.91 percent, Genting Malaysia climbed 0.81 percent, Petronas Chemicals advanced 0.71 percent, Tenaga Nasional shed 0.25 percent and YTL Corporation and Public bank were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks moved lower on Wednesday following the rally in the previous session.

The Dow slid 218.55 points or 0.90 percent to 24,189.45, while the NASDAQ lost 25.27 points or 0.36 percent to 7,069.03 and the S&P 500 fell 14.68 points or 0.55 percent to 2,642.19.

The weakness came amid geopolitical concerns after President Donald Trump warned Russia "get ready" for missiles being launched at Syria.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted a modest decrease in consumer prices in March. Core CPI inched higher, in line with forecasts.

Later in the day, the Federal Reserve released the minutes of its latest monetary policy meeting, which showed members of the central bank discussed the need to slow down the economy.

Crude oil prices continued to rally Wednesday, hitting three-year highs despite confirmation that U.S. stockpiles are brimming. Tensions in the Middle East have boosted oil prices this week. WTI light sweet oil surged $1.31 or 2 percent to settle at $66.82/bbl - the highest since 2014.

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