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Continued Consolidation Called For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market has finished lower in two of three trading days since the end of the six-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 85 points or 5.6 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index remains just beneath the 1,585-point plateau and it's looking at another red light again on Friday,

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on growing fears of another coronavirus wave. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mostly in the red and the Asian markets figure to open in similar fashion.

The KLCI finished barely lower on Thursday following mixed performances from the financial shares, plantation stocks and telecoms.

For the day, the index eased 0.25 points or 0.02 percent to finish at 1,583.25 after trading between 1,579.90 and 1,590.63. Volume was 10.237 billion shares worth 5.181 billion ringgit. There were 537 gainers and 496 decliners.

Among the actives, Top Glove surged 3.12 percent, while Public Bank soared 2.78 percent, Sime Darby plummeted 2.30 percent, Axiata plunged 2.29 percent, MISC and Petronas Gas both tumbled 1.88 percent, Petronas Chemicals tanked 1.83 percent, Sime Darby Plantations skidded 1.78 percent, IHH Healthcare retreated 1.31 percent, Hartalega Holdings jumped 1.10 percent, CIMB Group declined 1.05 percent, Malaysia Airports Holdings surrendered 0.91 percent, RHB Capital climbed 0.79 percent, Genting Malaysia dropped 0.78 percent, Genting sank 0.72 percent, Tenaga Nasional shed 0.69 percent, IOI Corporation advanced 0.67 percent, AMMB Holdings added 0.62 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong lost 0.53 percent, Dialog Group gained 0.26 percent, Digi.com fell 0.23 percent, Maxis dipped 0.19 percent and Hong Leong Financial, Maybank and Press Metal were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is mixed to lower as stocks spend most of Thursday in the red, although the NASDAQ managed to pull itself into positive territory.

The Dow tumbled 361.19 points or 1.39 percent to finish at 1.39 percent, while the NASDAQ gained 55.25 points or 0.52 percent to end at 10,547.75 and the S&P 500 fell 17.89 points or 0.56 percent to close at 3,152.05.

The weakness on Wall Street came after more than 60,000 new coronavirus cases were reported on Wednesday, the biggest increase ever by a country in a single day. That triggered fears that a re-imposition of lockdown measures will significantly weaken economic recovery chances.

In economic news, the Labor Department showed a bigger than expected decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits last week.

Crude oil prices declined sharply Thursday as a marked surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. raised fears of another lockdown and triggered concerns about energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August sank $1.28 or 3.1 percent at $39.62 a barrel.

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