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Losses May Accelerate For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market on Friday snapped the modest two-day winning streak in which it had collected less than 2 points. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,680-point plateau and it's in line for further damage again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative on falling crude oil prices and disappointing economic data. The European and U.S. markets were down on Friday and the Asian markets are tipped to open in similar fashion.

The KLCI finished modestly lower on Friday following losses from the financial shares and plantation stocks.

For the day, the index fell 7.05 points or 0.42 percent to finish at 1,679.90 after trading between 1,678.66 and 1,688.28. Volume was 2.6 billion shares worth 2.2 billion ringgit. There were 524 decliners and 328 gainers.

Among the actives, RHB Capital surged 1.46 percent, while Petronas Chemicals plunged 1.18 percent, CIMB Group tumbled 1.10 percent Genting skidded 0.98 percent, Tenaga Nasional retreated 0.94 percent, Axiata Group declined 0.72 percent, Dialog Group dropped 0.62 percent, Hartalega Holdings advanced 0.60 percent, Sime Darby added 0.46 percent, IOI Corporation shed 0.44 percent, IHH Healthcare lost 0.34 percent, Genting Malaysia gained 0.29 percent, Public Bank and Kuala Lumpur Kepong both fell 0.16 percent and Digi.com, AMMG Holdings, Maybank, Top Glove, Petronas Dagangan and Hong Leong Financial all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is uninspired as stocks opened lower Friday, came off session lows as the day progressed but still ended slightly in the red.

The Dow shed 22.99 points or 009 percent to 25.450.24, while the NASDAQ lost 13.32 points or 0.18 percent to 7,408.14 and the S&P 500 fell 5.86 points or 0.21 percent to 2,743.07. For the week, the Dow and the S&P both slumped 2.2 percent, while the NASDAQ tumbled 2.5 percent.

The initial weakness on Wall Street came after the Labor Department said job growth nearly ground to a halt in February after soaring in January. The much weaker than expected job growth in February represented the worst month since September 2017

Concerns about the global economy also weighed on the markets after the European Central Bank downgraded its GDP forecasts and China reported weaker than expected trade data for February.

Crude oil futures ended lower on Friday as worries about demand growth resurfaced on data showing weak jobs growth in the U.S. and a sharp plunge in Chinese exports. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.59 or 1 percent at $56.07 a barrel.

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