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Malaysia Stock Market May Extend Friday's Losses

The Malaysia stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last five trading days since the end of the two-day winning streak in which it had collected almost 25 points or 1.6 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,590-point plateau and it may see continued consolidation on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is slightly soft as disappointing U.S. jobs data may trigger profit taking after recent gains. The European and U.S. markets were down on Friday and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow suit.

The KLCI finished slightly lower on Friday following losses from the financial shares and telecoms.

For the day, the index dipped 4.19 points or 0.26 percent to finish at 1,591.46 after trading between 1,589.07 and 1,597.85. Volume was 2.7 billion shares worth 1.6 billion ringgit. There were 401 gainers and 398 decliners.

Among the actives, Axiata plummeted 1.88 percent, while Sime Darby plunged 1.33 percent, RHB Capital soared 1.04 percent, Malaysia Airports Holdings spiked 1.00 percent, Petronas Chemicals tumbled 0.96 percent, Top Glove accelerated 0.87 percent, Digi.com skidded 0.87 percent, Press Metal perked 0.82 percent, CIMB Group dropped 0.76 percent, Genting jumped 0.65 percent, Genting Malaysia retreated 0.61 percent, MISC climbed 0.60 percent, Dialog Group sank 0.58 percent, Tenaga Nasional shed 0.46 percent, AMMB Holdings advanced 0.26 percent, Maxis lost 0.18 percent, Public Bank fell 0.10 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong eased 0.08 percent and Sime Darby Plantations, PPB Group, Hartalega Holdings, Maybank, IHH Healthcare, IOI Corporation and Hong Leong Bank all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks opened higher on Friday but headed south in the late morning and finished in the red, pulling back from record closing highs.

The major averages finished with mild losses as the Dow shed 133.13 points or 0.46 percent to 28,823.77, while the NASDAQ dipped 24.57 points or 0.27 percent to 9,178.86 and the S&P 500 fell 9.35 points or 0.29 percent to 3,265.35.

The higher open was the result of continued optimism over easing concerns about a conflict between the U.S. and Iran.

But the markets turned lower in late morning after the Labor Department's closely watched non-farm payroll data showed the pace of job growth slowed more than expected in December.

Crude oil prices drifted lower Friday, declining for a fourth successive session, amid easing tensions in the Middle East, after the U.S. decided against military action on Iran. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February ended down $0.52, or about 0.9 percent, at $59.04 a barrel.

Closer to home, Malaysia will provide November numbers for unemployment later today; in October, the jobless rate was 3.2 percent and the unemployment rate was 68.7 percent.

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