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Malaysia Bourse Predicted To Open Under Pressure

The Malaysia stock market turned lower again on Friday, one session after it had ended the two-day losing streak in which it had fallen more than 10 points or 0.6 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,530-point plateau and it's looking at another soft start again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on renewed concerns about the coronavirus and its repercussions. The European and U.S. markets were down on Friday and the Asian markets are now expected to open in similar fashion.

The KLCI finished slightly lower on Friday following mixed performances from the financial shares, plantation stocks and telecoms.

For the day, the index dipped 3.78 points or 0.25 percent to finish at 1,531.20 after trading between 1,527.57 and 1,533.91. Volume was 2.7 billion shares worth 2.1 billion ringgit. There were 439 decliners and 391 gainers.

Among the actives, Sime Darby plummeted 2.33 percent, while Malaysia Airports Holdings plunged 1.89 percent, Press Metal tumbled 1.80 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong soared 1.58 percent, Petronas Chemicals skidded 1.53 percent, MISC retreated 1.41 percent, Genting spiked 1.28 percent, IHH Healthcare dropped 1.20 percent, Sime Darby Plantations sank 1.17 percent, Digi.com shed 1.16 percent, Dialog Group lost 0.88 percent, Maxis jumped 0.74 percent, RHB Capital climbed 0.71 percent, CIMB Group collected 0.40 percent, IOI Corporation fell 0.22 percent, Top Glove slid 0.19 percent, Maybank eased 0.12 percent, Public Bank rose 0.11 percent and Tenaga Nasional, Axiata and Genting Malaysia were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks opened firmly in the red on Friday and remained there throughout the sessions, extending recent losses.

The Dow shed 227.57 points or 0.78 percent to end at 28,992.41, the NASDAQ lost 174.38 points or 1.79 percent to 9,576.59 and the S&P 500 fell 35.48 points or 1.05 percent to 3,337.75. For the week, the Dow shed 1.4 percent, the NASDAQ fell 1.6 percent and the S&P slumped 1.3 percent.

The sell-off on Wall Street came as traders tracked the latest coronavirus news, with Chinese officials reporting 1,109 new confirmed cases of the illness, up sharply from 349 cases the previous day.

In economic news, the National Association of Realtors reported a pullback in existing home sales in January - although home sales in January were up by 9.6 percent on an annual basis.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Friday on reports suggesting a rift in the crude-production alliance between Saudi Arabia and Russia. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.50 or 0.9 percent at $53.38 a barrel.

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