Plus   Neg

Losing Streak Likely To Continue For Malaysia Shares

The Malaysia stock market has finished lower in four straight sessions, sliding more than 20 points or 1.3 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index remains just beneath the 1,765-point plateau and it's looking at another soft start again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative thanks to renewed concern over the outlook for interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses figure to follow that lead.

The KLCI finished barely lower on Wednesday as losses from the financials were offset by support from the plantations and telecoms.

For the day, the index eased 0.59 points or 0.03 percent to finish at 1,763.57 after trading between 1,755.38 and 1,764.50. Volume was 2.12 billion shares worth 2.02 billion ringgit. There were 469 decliners and 397 gainers, with 396 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, IJM Corporation surged 4.57 percent, while YTL Corporation soared 3.92 percent, MISC plummeted 3.44 percent, Genting Malaysia spiked 1.95 percent, Sime Darby jumped 1.19 percent, Public Bank tumbled 1.15 percent, IOI Corporation skidded 1.08 percent, CIMB Group dropped 0.82 percent, Digi.com advanced 0.67 percent, Axiata and Astro Malaysia Holdings both climbed 0.63 percent, Telekom Malaysia added 0.26 percent, IHH Healthcare fell 0.16 percent, Petronas Chemicals gained 0.12 percent and Tenaga Nasional and Maybank were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks saw modest strength for much of Wednesday but came under pressure following the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement.

The Dow slid 119.53 points or 0.47 percent to 25,201.20, while the NASDAQ eased 8.09 points or 0.11 percent to 7,695.70 and the S&P 500 fell 11.22 points or 0.40 percent to 2,775.63.

The pullback came after the Fed announced its decision to raise interest rates by 25 basis points to a range of 1.75 to 2 percent. The rate hike was widely expected, but the Fed surprised investors by forecasting two additional rate hikes this year after previously predicting only one rate.

The central bank said data received since its May meeting indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a solid rate.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted a bigger than expected increase in producer prices in May - while core producer prices also ticked higher.

Crude oil futures rose Wednesday after energy inventories fell more than forecast. July WTI oil climbed 28 cents or 0.4 percent to settle at $66.64/bbl.

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