Malaysia Stock Market Has Flat Lead For Thursday's Trade

The Malaysia stock market turned lower again on Wednesday, one day after halting the two-day losing streak in which it had fallen more than 30 points or 2.1 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,430-point plateau and it's expected to see little movement on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower on fears of continued policy tightening and worldwide recession. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian markets are expected to open in similar fashion.

The KLCI finished sharply lower on Wednesday with damage across the board, especially among the plantations and glove makers.

For the day, the index dropped 26.78 points or 1.84 percent to finish at the daily low of 1,431.10 after peaking at 1,461.53. Volume was 2.729 billion shares worth 1.901 billion ringgit. There were 640 decliners and 255 gainers.

Among the actives, MRDIY plummeted 35.91 percent, while Sime Darby Plantations plunged 8.60 percent, Hartalega Holdings tanked 7.82 percent, Top Glove cratered 6.48 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong tumbled 5.55 percent, IOI Corporation surrendered 5.09 percent, INARI declined 3.40 percent, Maxis retreated 2.74 percent, Genting stumbled 2.39 percent, Petronas Chemical weakened 2.11 percent, IHH Healthcare slumped 1.69 percent, Public Bank skidded 1.57 percent, Dialog Group dropped 1.43 percent, Genting Malaysia sank 1.41 percent, CIMB Group shed 1.21 percent, Press Metal lost 1.05 percent, Sime Darby fell 0.93 percent, PPB Group slid 0.88 percent, MISC dipped 0.84 percent, Axiata slipped 0.72 percent, RHB Capital was down 0.70 percent, Maybank eased 0.58 percent and Telekom Malaysia and Tenaga Nasional were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street ends up slightly negative as the major averages opened lower on Wednesday, then spent most of the day in the green before slipping back into negative territory at the close.

The Dow shed 47.12 points or 0.15 percent to finish at 30,483.13, while the NASDAQ lost 16.22 points or 0.15 percent to close at 11,053.08 and the S&P 500 dipped 4.90 points or 0.13 percent to end at 3,759.89.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders reacted to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. Powell indicated the Fed plans to continue moving expeditiously to combat inflation but argued the U.S. economy is strong enough to handle tighter monetary policy.

Powell said the pace of future interest rate hikes will be dependent on incoming data and the evolving outlook for the economy and suggested the Fed will need to see "compelling evidence" that inflation is slowing before it begins to scale back its monetary policy tightening plans.

Crude oil futures tumbled on Wednesday amid concerns about the outlook for energy demand due to slowing global growth following sharp interest rate hikes by central banks. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended lower by $3.33 or 3 percent at $106.19 a barrel, the lowest settlement in six weeks.

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