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Continued Consolidation Predicted For Malaysia Bourse

The Malaysia stock market headed south again on Monday, one session after snapping the three-day losing streak in which it had stumbled more than 30 points or 2 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,570-point plateau and it may tick lower again on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat to lower, with anticipated weakness from tech shares likely offset by support from crude oil prices. The European markets were slightly lower and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KLCI finished modestly lower on Monday following losses from the financial shares, plantation stocks and glove makers.

For the day, the index dropped 14.47 points or 0.91 percent to finish at the daily low of 1,570.46 after peaking at 1,587.51. Volume was 13.303 billion shares worth 5.702 billion ringgit. There were 754 decliners and 476 gainers.

Among the actives, Supermax plummeted 4.66 percent, Top Glove plunged 4.46 percent, Hartalega Holdings tanked 3.48 percent, Genting surged 2.99 percent, Press Metal tumbled 2.25 percent, CIMB Group skidded 2.12 percent, Maxis retreated 1.89 percent, MISC jumped 1.67 percent, Sime Darby Plantations declined 1.42 percent, Sime Darby surrendered 1.37 percent, Axiata climbed 1.19 percent, Maybank sank 1.00 percent, Petronas Chemicals advanced 0.80 percent, RHB Capital dropped 0.74 percent, Public Bank shed 0.73 percent, IOI Corporation lost 0.47 percent, Genting Malaysia gained 0.36 percent, Tenaga Nasional fell 0.30 percent, IHH Healthcare dipped 0.20 percent and PPB Group, Dialog Group, Telekom Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur Kepong and Digi.com were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is mostly weak as stocks opened in the red on Monday and largely stayed that way, although the Dow managed to break into positive territory.

The Dow rose 27.37 points or 0.09 percent to finish at 31,521.69, while the NASDAQ plummeted 341.42 points or 2.46 percent to end at 13,533.05 and the S&P 500 lost 30.21 points or 0.77 percent to close at 3,876.50.

The steep drop by the NASDAQ came as traders moved out of technology stocks amid concerns about the impact of the recent increase in treasury yields. Electric car maker Tesla (TSLA), Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Amazon (AMZN) all took heavy damage.

The sell-off came as the yield on the benchmark ten-year note saw further upside, reaching its highest closing level in a year. Bond yields remain at historically low levels, but the recent increase may still spook investors already concerned that stocks are overbought.

In U.S. economic news, the Conference Board reported a bigger than expected increase by its index of leading U.S. economic indicators in January.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Monday amid supply concerns due to a slowdown in production after last week's severe cold snap. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures contracts for March expired at $61.49 a barrel, gaining $2.25 or 3.8 percent for the session.

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