Malaysia Bourse May Run Out Of Steam On Thursday

The Malaysia stock market has ticked higher in back-to-back sessions, collecting just over 5 points or 0.4 percent in that span. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,555-point plateau although the rally may stall on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower, with technology stocks expected to take heavy damage amidst concerns over interest rates. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KLCI finished barely higher on Wednesday following gains from the financials, weakness from the telecoms and mixed performances from the plantations and glove makers.

For the day, the index picked up 1.35 points or 0.09 percent to finish at 1,555.93 after trading between 1,552.94 and 1,559.46. Volume was 2.402 billion shares worth 1.908 billion ringgit. There were 443 gainers and 440 decliners.

Among the actives, Axiata stumbled 0.87 percent, while CIMB Group advanced 0.39 percent, Dialog Group plummeted 2.46 percent, Digi.com and Sime Darby both retreated 0.84 percent, Genting lost 0.22 percent, Hartalega Holdings rose 0.23 percent, IHH Healthcare fell 0.16 percent, INARI shed 0.38 percent, IOI Corporation slumped 0.68 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong added 0.37 percent, Maybank collected 1.11 percent, Maxis plunged 1.31 percent, MISC tanked 1.30 percent, MRDIY gained 0.29 percent, PPB Group climbed 0.60 percent, Press Metal strengthened 1.40 percent, Public Bank perked 0.22 percent, RHB Capital rallied 1.65 percent, Sime Darby Plantations jumped 1.84 percent, Telekom Malaysia skidded 0.80 percent, Tenaga Nasional declined 0.89 percent, Top Glove tumbled 1.29 percent and Genting Malaysia and Petronas Chemicals were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is broadly negative as the major averages shook off early strength on Wednesday and accelerated into the red as the day progressed, finishing well under water.

The Dow tumbled 326.63 points or 1.02 percent to finish at 31,834.11, while the NASDAQ plummeted 373.44 points or 3.18 percent to end at 11,364.24 and the S&P 500 sank 65.87 points or 1.65 percent to close at 3,935.18.

The weakness that emerged on Wall Street came as traders digested a highly anticipated Labor Department report showing the annual rate of inflation slowed less than expected in April.

The data added to concerns the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates more aggressively in an effort to bring inflation down at a faster rate, which analysts fear could lead to a period of stagflation or an outright recession.

Crude oil prices climbed higher on Wednesday, rebounding sharply from recent losses thanks to data showing a significant drop in flows of Russian gas to Europe. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended higher by $5.95 or 6 percent at $105.71 a barrel.

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