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Malaysia Bourse May Take Further Damage On Tuesday

The Malaysia stock market headed south again on Monday, one session after it had halted the six-day losing streak in which it had plummeted almost 230 points or 17.5 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,260-point plateau and it's predicted to open in the red again on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets remains negative on concerns about the effect of the coronavirus on the global economy. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses figure to open in similar fashion.

In an effort to rein in the activity, Malaysia on Monday suspended short-selling until April 30 due to heightened volatility amid the spread of the coronavirus, the country's market regulator and stock exchange said in a joint statement.

The KLCI finished sharply lower on Monday following losses from the financial shares, plantation stocks and telecoms.

For the day, the index lost 43.40 points or 3.33 percent to finish at 1,259.88 after trading between 1,241.46 and 1,275.26. Volume was 2.794 billion shares worth 2.312 billion ringgit. There were 771 decliners and 161 gainers.

Among the actives, CIMB Group plummeted 9.62 percent, while Genting plunged 7.44 percent, Genting Malaysia cratered 7.11 percent, Sime Darby tumbled 7.02 percent, IHH Healthcare skidded 6.96 percent, Press Metal retreated 6.15 percent, Dialog Group declined 5.61 percent, Maybank sank 5.19 percent, Sime Darby Plantations shed 5.15 percent, AMMB Holdings lost 4.29 percent, Petronas Chemicals fell 3.61 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong and Petronas Gas both slid 2.68 percent, Top Glove dipped 2.55 percent, Axiata slipped 2.50 percent, Digi.com was down 1.68 percent, Tenaga Nasional and Public Bank both lost 1.00 percent, Hartalega Holdings limbed 0.91 percent and IOI Corp and MISC both eased 0.54 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is soft with a dose of volatility as stocks saw wild swings again on Monday. The NASDAQ peeked into positive territory a couple of times, but all three major averages finished in the red.

The Dow sank 754.38 points or 3.93 percent to finish at 18,419.60, while the NASDAQ lost 56.67 points or 0.82 percent to 6,822.85 and the S&P 500 fell 86.44 points or 3.75 percent to 2,21848.

After opening sharply lower, the markets got a lift when the Federal Reserve announced extensive new measures to support the economy - saying that it is committed to using its full range of tools to support households, businesses, and the U.S. economy overall in this challenging time.

The measures include an unlimited expansion of the Fed's asset purchases, with the central bank saying it will purchase Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities in unspecified large amounts.

But the markets resumed their downward march in afternoon trade as the virus continues to spread.

Crude oil prices climbed higher on Monday, reacting positively to the Federal Reserve's announcement of extensive new measures to support the economy. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended up $0.73 or 3.2 percent at $23.36 a barrel.

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