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Malaysia Bourse Likely To Run Out Of Steam

The Malaysia stock market has ticked higher in two straight sessions, although it has added just 4 points or 0.1 percent in that span. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index remains just beneath the 1,800-point plateau although it's expected to be stuck in neutral on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on ongoing trade war concerns and a drop in crude oil prices. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were down - and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KLCI finished barely higher on Friday as gains from the financials and telecoms were offset by weakness from the plantations.

For the day, the index was up 0.60 points or 0.03 percent to finish at 1,799.17 after trading between 1,795.29 and 1,802.12. Volume was 17.3 million shares worth 1.63 billion ringgit. There were 475 decliners and 334 gainers.

Among the actives, Telekom Malaysia surged 2.57 percent, while Malaysia Airports Holdings plunged 1.19 percent, IOI Corporation tumbled 1.12 percent, Genting spiked 0.74 percent, Sime Darby skidded 0.37 percent, IHH Healthcare jumped 0.36 percent, Tenaga Nasional climbed 0.25 percent, Genting Malaysia advanced 0.20 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong dropped 0.16 percent, Petronas Chemicals added 0.11 percent, Maybank collected 0.10 percent and Hong Leong Financial, CIMB Group, RHB Capital, Dialog Group and Hap Seng Consolidated all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks fluctuated on Friday before ending modestly lower. With the drop, the NASDAQ and the S&P extended recent losses.

The Dow fell 79.33 points or 0.31 percent to 25,916.54, the NASDAQ dipped 20.18 points or 0.25 percent to 7,902.54 and the S&P 500 slipped 6.37 points or 0.22 percent to 2,871.68. For the week, the NASDAQ plunged 2.6 percent, the S&P fell 1 percent and the Dow lost 0.2 percent.

The lower close came amid ongoing trade concerns after President Donald Trump suggested he may impose tariffs on another $267 billion worth of Chinese goods. China's Commerce Ministry has said it will roll out retaliatory measures if the U.S. imposes any new tariffs.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted stronger than expected job growth in August. The report also said the annual rate of average hourly employee earnings growth accelerated. The data painted a positive picture of the economy but reinforced expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates later this month.

Crude oil prices eased Friday, as concerns about a drop in demand due to trade war tensions slightly outweighed data showing a fall in stockpiles. Crude oil futures for October delivery settled at $67.75 a barrel, down 2 cents. For the week, crude oil future lost 2.9 percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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