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Losing Streak May Continue For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market has tracked lower in back-to-back sessions, sliding more than a dozen points or 0.8 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,595-point plateau and it may extend its losses on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative, with more profit taking expected after recent gains. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KLCI finished modestly lower on Wednesday as losses from the telecoms, financials and industrials were mitigated by support from the glove makers.

For the day, the index lost 10.85 points or 0.68 percent to finish at 1,595.29 after trading between 1,593.80 and 1,609.51. Volume was 10.144 billion shares worth 5.228 billion ringgit. There were 622 decliners and 548 gainers.

Among the actives, Axiata plummeted 4.79 percent, while Supermax surged 3.92 percent, Petronas Chemicals plunged 2.84 percent, Genting tanked 2.61 percent, MISC tumbled 2.33 percent, Top Glove soared 2.15 percent, Dialog Group skidded 1.82 percent, Genting Malaysia retreated 1.77 percent, Maxis declined 1.64 percent, Telekom Malaysia surrendered 1.55 percent, Sime Darby sank 1.36 percent, Digi.com dropped 1.31 percent, Sime Darby Plantations climbed 1.03 percent, IOI Corporation shed 0.94 percent, Public Bank lost 0.71 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong fell 0.70 percent, Maybank slid 0.61 percent, Hartalega Holdings gained 0.48 percent, CIMB Group dipped 0.47 percent, Tenaga Nasional slipped 0.40 percent, Press Metal perked 0.23 percent, RHB Capital was down 0.18 percent and IHH Healthcare was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened in the red on Wednesday and largely stayed that way, although the Dow was able to finish in the green.

The Dow gained 90.27 points or 0.29 percent to finish at 31,613.02, while the NASDAQ sank 82.00 points or 0.58 percent to end at 13,965.50 and the S&P 500 eased 1.26 points or 0.03 percent to close at 3,931.33.

The early weakness on Wall Street followed the release of a batch of largely upbeat U.S. economic data, which painted a positive picture of the economy but also added to recent inflation concerns.

The Commerce Department said retail sales spiked 5.3 percent in January, while the Federal Reserve said industrial production increased more than expected last month and the Labor Department said producer prices jumped much more than expected in January.

The minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting also signaled the central bank is likely to leave policy unchanged for the foreseeable future, offsetting concerns about the impact of inflation.

Crude oil futures ended sharply higher on Wednesday amid rising concerns over likely disruptions in supply due to severe cold weather in Texas. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended up $1.09 or 1.8 percent at $61.14 a barrel.

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