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Malaysia Stock Market May Extend Losing Streak

The Malaysia stock market has finished lower in four straight sessions, sliding more than a dozen points or 0.8 percent in that span. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,675-point plateau and it's tipped to open in the red again on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is modestly negative, with weakness from technology stocks likely offset by mild upside from crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow suit.

The KLCI finished modestly lower on Monday following losses from the plantations and telecoms, while the financials were mixed.

For the day, the index slid 4.89 points or 0.29 percent to finish at 1,677.64 after trading between 1,672.88 and 1,679.66. Volume was 2.1 billion shares worth 1.7 billion ringgit. There were 567 decliners and 268 gainers.

Among the actives, Genting plummeted 1.92 percent, while IHH Healthcare plunged 1.88 percent, Tenaga Nasional surged 1.62 percent, IOI Corporation tumbled 1.17 percent, Axiata Group skidded 0.96 percent, Sime Darby retreated 0.86 percent, MISC and Top Glove both declined 0.83 percent, Genting Malaysia dropped 0.61 percent, Maybank sank 0.56 percent, Sime Darby Plantations shed 0.41 percent, Digi.com lost 0.39 percent, Petronas Chemicals fell 0.35 percent, CIMB Group collected 0.19 percent, RHB Capital added 0.17 percent, Public Bank eased 0.09 percent and Kuala Lumpur Kepong, Dialog Group and PPB Group were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened lower on Monday as stayed in the red throughout the session.

The Dow shed 115.98 points or 0.43 percent to 26,806.14, while the NASDAQ lost 63.41 points or 0.78 percent to 8,098.38 and the S&P 500 fell 14.46 points or 0.48 percent to 2,975.95.

The weakness on Wall Street partly reflected waning optimism about a near-term interest rate cut following last Friday's much better than expected jobs data.

A drop by Apple (AAPL) also weighed on markets, with the tech giant tumbling by 2.1 percent after a downgrade on the company's stock.

Crude oil futures settled modestly higher Monday amid rising geopolitical tensions and on hopes for monetary easing by the Federal Reserve this month. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August rose $0.15 or 0.3 percent at $57.66 a barrel.

Closer to home, the central bank in Malaysia will wrap up its monetary policy meeting later today and then announce its decision on interest rates. The bank is expected to keep its benchmark lending rate steady at 3.00 percent.

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