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Soft Start Anticipated For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market has finished lower in two of three trading days since the end of the three-day winning streak in which it had picked up more than 25 points or 1.6 percent. The Kuala Composite Index now rests just above the 1,600-point plateau and it's expected to open under pressure again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests consolidation on sliding crude oil prices and another local surge in coronavirus cases. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets are also tipped to open in the red.

The KLCI finished modestly lower on Friday following losses from the financials and mixed performances from the plantations and glove makers.

For the day, the index shed 6.85 points or 0.43 percent to finish at 1,601.65 after trading between 1,600.05 and 1,615.60. Volume was 6.752 billion shares worth 4.614 billion ringgit. There were 582 decliners and 508 gainers.

Among the actives, Axiata jumped 1.31 percent, while CIMB Group declined 1.19 percent, Dialog Group dropped 0.98 percent, Digi.com added 0.24 percent, Genting skidded 1.39 percent, Genting Malaysia plunged 3.03 percent, Hartalega Holdings surrendered 1.15 percent, IHH Healthcare eased 0.19 percent, IOI Corporation advanced 0.74 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong plummeted 3.51 percent, Maybank was down 0.24 percent, Maxis fell 0.43 percent, MISC gained 0.15 percent, Petronas Chemicals and Sime Darby Plantations both climbed 1.11 percent, PPB Group shed 0.86 percent, Press Metal tanked 2.80 percent, Public Bank lost 0.48 percent, RHB Capital sank 1.14 percent, Sime Darby tumbled 1.74 percent, Supermax surged 2.73 percent, Telekom Malaysia retreated 1.38 percent, Tenaga Nasional slid 0.40 percent and Top Glove dipped 0.35 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as the major averages opened lower on Friday and remained in the red throughout the trading day.

The Dow dropped 185.51 points or 0.54 percent to finish at 33,874.85, while the NASDAQ sank 119.86 points or 0.85 percent to end at 13,962.68 and the S&P 500 lost 30.30 points or 0.72 percent to close at 4,181.17.

For the week, the S&P 500 was nearly flat, while the Dow and the NASDAQ fell 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. For the month, the NASDAQ spiked 5.4 percent, the S&P jumped 5.2 percent and the Dow climbed 2.7 percent.

The pullback on Friday reflected profit taking and a reaction to mixed earnings news from the likes of Twitter (TWTR), Chevron (CVX) and Exxon Mobil (XOM).

In economic news, the Commerce Department showing personal income skyrocketed in March, while the University of Michigan said consumer sentiment in the U.S. improved more than estimated in April.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Friday, coming off six-week highs as worries about energy demand resurfaced amid a continued surge in coronavirus cases in Asia. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended down $1.43 or 2.2 percent at $63.58 a barrel.

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