Malaysia Market Tipped To Snap Losing Streak

The Malaysia stock market has finished lower now in back-to-back sessions, giving away more than 15 points or 0.9 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index ended just above the 1,845-point plateau, although the market may find traction on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside, again thanks to generally upbeat earnings news. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were barely higher - and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KLCI finished modestly lower on Thursday as losses from the financial shares and plantation stocks were mitigated by support from the industrial issues.

For the day, the index shed 8.69 points or 0.47 percent to finish at 1,846.08 after trading between 1,846.08 and 1,855.70. Volume was 1.98 billion shares worth 1.68 billion ringgit. There were 480 decliners and 310 gainers, with 365 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, CIMB Group, RHB Capital and Petronas Chemicals all finished lower, while Tenaga Nasional and Axiata were unchanged and Maybank and MISC ended higher.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks shrugged off early volatility to move mostly higher on Thursday. With the upward move, the tech-heavy NASDAQ hit a new record closing high.

While the NASDAQ rose 20.89 points or 0.4 percent to 5,056.06, the Dow inched up 20.42 points or 0.1 percent to 18,058.69 and the S&P 500 added 4.97 points or 0.2 percent to 2,112.93.

The strength on Wall Street reflected a positive reaction to the latest batch of earnings news from big-name companies, including AT&T (T) and eBay (EBAY) - although the numbers from General Motors (GM) and 3M (MMM) disappointed.

Traders also expressed optimism that the Federal Reserve will delay its planned increase in interest rates following disappointing housing data from the Commerce Department.

A separate report from the Labor Department showed an unexpected uptick in initial jobless claims in the week ended April 18, although claims remained below 300,000.

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