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Malaysia Bourse May Extend Losing Streak

The Malaysia stock market has finished lower in two straight sessions, giving away more than a dozen points or 0.8 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,540-point plateau and it's looking at another soft start again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on renewed concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian markets figure to follow suit.

The KLCI finished slightly lower on Thursday following losses from the plantations and industrials, while the financials were mixed.

For the day, the index lost 3.78 points or 0.24 percent to finish at 1,539.16 after trading between 1,536.76 and 1,545.92. Volume was 2.7 billion shares worth 2.3 billion ringgit. There were 452 gainers and 361 decliners.

Among the actives, Malaysia Airports Holdings plummeted 2.10 percent, while CIMB Group plunged 1.41 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong tumbled 1.27 percent, IHH Healthcare jumped 0.87 percent, Genting Malaysia skidded 0.66 percent, RHB Capital climbed 0.53 percent, Tenaga Nasional retreated 0.47 percent, Digi.com and Axiata both advanced 0.46 percent, Sime Darby added 0.45 percent, MISC gained 0.37 percent, Petronas Chemicals sank 0.31 percent, Dialog Group shed 0.29 percent, AMMB Holdings lost 0.26 percent, IOI Corporation fell 0.22 percent, Press Metal rose 0.20 percent, Sime Darby Plantations increased 0.19 percent, Genting slid 0.19 percent, Top Glove was up 0.17 percent, Hartalega Holdings dipped 0.16 percent, Public Bank collected 0.11 percent and Maybank was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks opened lower on Thursday, rebounded as the day progressed but then fell into the red towards the end of the session.

The Dow shed 128.11 points or 0.43 percent to end at 29,423.31, while the NASDAQ fell 13.99 points or 0.14 percent to 9,711.97 and the S&P 500 shed 5.51 points or 0.16 percent to 3,373.94.

Profit taking contributed to initial weakness on Wall Street, as some traders looked to cash in on recent gains amid news of a jump in new coronavirus cases.

The early weakness on Wall Street was subsequently seen as another buying opportunity for some traders even as a number of companies continue to warn about the impact of the outbreak.

In economic news, the Labor Department reported a modest increase in consumer prices in January, as well as a smaller than expected increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits.

Crude oil prices edged higher on Thursday despite lingering concerns about the outlook for energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended up $0.25 or 0.5 percent at $51.42 a barrel.

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