Plus   Neg

Malaysia Bourse Expected To Remain Rangebound

The Malaysia stock market ticked higher again on Monday, one session after it had ended the two-day winning streak in which it had collected almost 10 points or 0.6 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,690-point plateau and it's tipped to see little movement on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat amid uncertainty about the outlook for global trade, while weakness in crude oil prices is likely to cap any upside. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were mixed and flat and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The KLCI finished slightly higher on Monday as gains from the financial shares were offset by weakness from the plantation stocks.

For the day, the index added 2.04 points or 0.12 percent to finish at 1,688.56 after trading between 1,681.64 and 1,689.74. Volume was 2.6 billion shares worth 1.7 billion ringgit. There were 489 gainers and 351 decliners.

Among the actives, Axiata surged 2.68 percent, while CIMB Group soared 1.59 percent, Petronas Chemicals spiked 1.07 percent, Dialog Group tumbled 1.00 percent, IOI Corporation skidded 0.88 percent, IHH Healthcare dropped 0.71 percent, Public Bank collected 0.64 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong lost 0.49 percent, Tenaga Nasional shed 0.30 percent, Top Glove lost 0.20 percent, Hartalega Holdings fell 0.18 percent, Maybank rose 0.10 percent and Genting Malaysia, Maxis, Sime Darby, Petronas Gas, Petronas Dagangan and Genting all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street provides little guidance as stocks showed a lack of direction on Monday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before ending mixed.

The Dow shed 53.22 points or 0.21 percent to finish at 25,053.11, while the NASDAQ added 9.71 points or 0.13 percent to 7,307.90 and the S&P rose 1.92 points or 0.07 percent to 2,709.80.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came amid uncertainty ahead of the next round of trade talks between the U.S. and China due to take place later this week as the world's two largest economies try to make a deal before an early March deadline.

A jump in tariffs on Chinese goods is currently set to take effect at that time, although they could be delayed if talks between U.S. and Chinese officials continue to make progress toward a trade deal.

Crude oil prices recovered from early weakness on Monday but still settled lower as weak global growth outlook raised concerns about energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended down $0.31 or 0.6 percent at $52.41 a barrel, well off the day's low of $51.23.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

Follow RTT