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Soft Start Anticipated For Malaysia Stock Market

Ahead of Monday's special public holiday, the Malaysia stock market had ended the two-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 60 points or 4 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,485-point plateau and it may take further damage on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative on trade concerns emanating from protests in China. The European and U.S. markets were solidly in the red and the Asian bourses are expected to open in similar fashion.

The KLCI finished sharply lower on Friday following losses from the financials, plantations, glove makers and telecoms.

For the day, the index slumped 15.34 points or 1.03 percent to finish at 1,486.54 after trading between 1,481.38 and 1,504.16. There were 629 decliners and 347 gainers, with 362 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Axiata plunged 4.72 percent, while CIMB Group skidded 1.19 percent, Dialog Group tanked 3.51 percent, Digi.com and IOI Corporation both shed 0.50 percent, Genting lost 0.45 percent, Genting Malaysia declined 2.94 percent, Hartalega Holdings retreated 2.66 percent, INARI stumbled 2.52 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong eased 0.19 percent, Maybank dropped 1.03 percent, Maxis surrendered 3.41 percent, MISC and Press Metal both fell 0.41 percent, MRDIY rose 0.25 percent, Petronas Chemicals perked 0.22 percent, PPB Group slumped 2.17 percent, RHB Capital collected 0.35 percent, Sime Darby tumbled 3.48 percent, Sime Darby Plantations slid 0.23 percent, Telekom Malaysia sank 0.72 percent, Tenaga Nasional weakened 1.46 percent, Top Glove plummeted 7.61 percent and IHH Healthcare and Public Bank were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is bleak as the major averages opened lower on Monday and the losses accelerated as the day progressed, closing near session lows.

The Dow plunged 497.57 points or 1.45 percent to finish at 33,849.46, while the NASDAQ tumbled 176.86 points or 1.58 percent to close at 11,049.50 and the S&P 500 slumped 62.18 points or 1.54 percent to end at 3,963.94.

Concerns about developments in China fueled the substantial pullback on Wall Street, as widespread protests against the Beijing's zero-Covid restriction policy broke out over the weekend.

The weakness on Wall Street may also have reflected lingering uncertainty about the outlook for interest rates ahead of next month's Federal Reserve meeting.

While the Fed is widely expected to slow the pace of interest rate hikes next month, the minutes of the central bank's early November meeting suggested some officials think rates will be to be raised higher than previously anticipated.

Crude oil prices shook off early weakness and moved higher on Monday amid speculation that OPEC will seriously consider a new production cut at its meeting later this week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January gained $0.96 or 1.3 percent at $77.24 a barrel.

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