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Steady Start Anticipated For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market on Tuesday snapped the modest two-day winning streak in which it had risen just 3 points or 0.2 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,520-point plateau and it's looking at a flat lead for Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed, with support from oil and financial stocks likely to be undercut by weakness from technology shares. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The KLCI finished slightly lower on Tuesday following losses from the plantations, gains from the glove makers and mixed performances from the financials and telecoms.

For the day, the index dipped 3.99 points or 0.26 percent to finish at 1,522.88 after trading between 1,521.51 and 1,531.73. Volume was 2.697 billion shares worth 2.353 billion ringgit. There were 641 decliners and 330 gainers.

Among the actives, Axiata sank 0.76 percent, while CIMB Group collected 0.58 percent, Digi.com tumbled 1.88 percent, Genting shed 0.40 percent, Hartalega Holdings advanced 0.99 percent, IHH Healthcare climbed 1.21 percent, IOI Corporation tanked 2.59 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong plunged 2.60 percent, Maybank and Petronas Chemicals both rose 0.12 percent, Maxis and Hong Leong Bank both fell 0.22 percent, MISC declined 1.16 percent, MRDIY retreated 1.39 percent, Press Metal dropped 0.70 percent, Sime Darby skidded 0.90 percent, Sime Darby Plantations plummeted 2.99 percent, Telekom Malaysia added 0.36 percent, Top Glove gained 0.89 percent and Hong Leong Financial, Petronas Dagangan, PPB Group, Dialog Group, Public Bank, RHB Capital, Tenaga Nasional and Genting Malaysia all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street remains inconsistent as the Dow and S&P spent Tuesday bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before ending higher. The NASDAQ spent most of the session in the red and finished that way.

The Dow jumped 194.55 points or 0.55 percent to finish at 35,813.80, while the NASDAQ slipped 79.62 points or 0.50 percent to close at 15,775.14 and the S&P 500 rose 7.76 points or 0.17 percent to end at 4,690.70.

The tech-heavy NASDAQ pulled back further off the record intraday high set in early trading on Monday, as a continued increase in treasury yields weighed on high-growth tech stocks.

Yields have moved notably higher since President Joe Biden announced his intention to nominate Jerome Powell for a second term as Fed Chair. With the upward move, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note ended at its highest closing level in a month.

On the other hand, the Dow benefited from strong gains by financial giants Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM).

Crude oil futures settled sharply higher on Tuesday, rebounding strongly from earlier losses over the outlook for energy demand due to rising coronavirus cases in Europe, and plans by the U.S. to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January still ended higher by $1.75 or 2.3 percent at $78.50 a barrel.

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