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Malaysia Stock Market May Extend Losing Streak

The Malaysia stock market has moved lower in three straight sessions, although it has given up just 8 points or 0.5 percent in that span. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,680-point plateau and it may take further damage on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative on pessimism over the outlook for interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were down Friday and now the Asian bourses are expected to open in similar fashion.

The KLCI finished slightly lower on Friday as losses from the telecoms were mitigated by support from the plantations and a mixed bag from the financial sector.

For the day, the index fell 4.95 points or 0.29 percent to finish at 1,682.53 after trading between 1,677.08 and 1,687.60. Volume was 2.6 billion shares worth 1.8 billion ringgit. There were 476 decliners and 354 gainers.

Among the actives, Tenaga Nasional plummeted 3.82 percent, while AMMB Holdings plunged 1.36 percent, CIMB Group surged 1.32 percent, Axiata Group tumbled 1.14 percent, IOI Corporation soared 0.94 percent, Sime Darby spiked 0.87 percent, Sime Darby Plantations jumped 0.83 percent, Dialog Group climbed 0.60 percent, IHH Healthcare advanced 0.51 percent, Top Glove skidded 0.41 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong added 0.24 percent, Digi.com dropped 0.20 percent, RHB Capital shed 0.17 percent, Genting lost 0.15 percent, Petronas Chemicals gained 0.12 percent, Maybank fell 0.11 percent, PPB Group rose 0.11 percent and Public Bank, Malaysia Airports Holdings, Genting Malaysia and Hong Leong Bank all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened sharply lower Friday, recovered as the day progressed but still ended in the red.

The Dow shed 43.88 points or 0.16 percent to finish at 26,922.12, while the NASDAQ lost 8.44 points or 0.10 percent to 8,161.79 and the S&P 500 fell 5.41 points or 0.18 percent to 2,990.41. For the week, the Dow jumped 1.2 percent, the NASDAQ surged 1.9 percent and the S&P rose 1.7 percent.

The early pullback followed the release of the Labor Department report showing a substantial growth in U.S. employment in June. While the data points to a rebound in the labor market, the report dampened investor hopes for a near-term interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

Oil futures settled modestly higher on Friday but saw a loss of 1.6 percent for the week as traders continued to weigh the commodity's near-term supply and demand prospects. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for August ended up $0.17 or 0.3 percent at $57.51 a barrel.

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