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Malaysia Bourse May Find Support On Friday

The Malaysia stock market has finished lower in six straight sessions, sinking more than 40 points or 2.5 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,595-point plateau and it may find traction on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower as many of the regional bourses have been overbought in the rally leading up to U.S. President Joe Biden's inauguration, so profit taking may be in order. The European markets were down and the U.S. markets were mixed and the Asian bourses figure to split the difference.

The KLCI finished modestly lower again on Thursday following losses from the financial shares and the rubber glove makers.

For the day, the index slipped 6.74 points or 0.42 percent to finish at 1,594.80 after trading between 1,594.31 and 1,615.22. Volume was 6.718 billion shares worth 4.285 billion ringgit. There were 812 decliners and 347 gainers.

Among the actives, Supermax plummeted 3.17 percent, while Genting plunged 2.63 percent, Petronas Chemicals tanked 2.52 percent, Top Glove tumbled 1.95 percent, Hartalega Holdings skidded 1.83 percent, PPB Group retreated 1.36 percent, RHB Capital and Public Bank both jumped 1.13 percent, Press Metal declined 1.02 percent, CIMB Group surrendered 0.99 percent, Axiata Group climbed 0.85 percent, Genting Malaysia sank 0.83 percent, Sime Darby Plantations and Tenaga Nasional both dropped 0.80 percent, Digi.com advanced 0.75 percent, Dialog Group added 0.62 percent, Telekom Malaysia shed 0.51 percent, Maybank lost 0.49 percent, Sime Darby fell 0.43 percent, IHH Healthcare gained 0.38 percent, MISC rose 0.31 percent, IOI Corporation increased 0.23 percent, Maxis was up 0.20 percent, Hong Leong Bank eased 0.11 percent and Kuala Lumpur Kepong and Nestle Malaysia were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks were lackluster on Thursday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before finishing mixed and little changed.

The Dow dipped 12.37 points or 0.04 percent to finish at 31,176.01, while the NASDAQ climbed 73.67 points or 0.55 percent to end at 13,530.92 and the S&P 500 rose 1.22 points or 0.03 percent to close at 3,853.07.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders expressed some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets, which may be overbought following the run to record highs.

Optimism about ramped up efforts to combat the coronavirus under new President Joe Biden have also helped to prop up the markets, including the possibility of more stimulus.

In economic news, the Labor Department reported a pullback in initial jobless claims last week. The Commerce Department also released a report showing new residential construction in the U.S. jumped by more than expected in December.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Thursday after data from the American Petroleum Institute showed an increase in U.S. crude stockpiles last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended down $0.18 or 0.3 percent at $53.13 a barrel.

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