By RTT News,
February 09, 2014, 07:00:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - The Malaysia stock market has climbed to the upside now in three consecutive trading days, collecting more than 30 points or 1.6 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index finished just below the 1,810-point plateau, and now the market figures to see another strong open again on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly positive following an upbeat employment report from the United States. The data had largely been prices in, however, so the regional markets figure to open strong and then gradually ease on profit taking throughout the day. The U.S. and European markets finished firmly higher on Friday.
The KLCI finished modestly higher on Friday following gains from the financial shares, industrial issues and plantation stocks.
For the day, the index gained 10.69 points or 0.59 percent to finish at 1,808.59 after trading between 1,797.84 and 1,812.18. Volume was 1.86 billion shares worth 2.2 billion ringgit. There were 542 gainers and 256 decliners, with 324 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the gainers, Sime Darby jumped 0.67 percent and MISC spiked 0.99 percent, while Tenaga, DiGi, Maybank and CIMB also moved higher.
The lead from Wall Street suggests further upside as stocks moved sharply higher on Friday, adding to the strong gains posted in the previous session. The markets benefited from a positive reaction to the monthly jobs report.
The major averages saw further upside going into the close, ending the session at their best levels of the day. The Dow jumped 165.55 points or 1.1 percent to 15,794.08, while the NASDAQ soared 68.74 points or 1.7 percent to 4,125.86 and the S&P 500 surged 23.59 points or 1.3 percent to 1,797.02. With the gains on the day, the major averages closed higher for the week as the S&P 500 advanced 0.8 percent, while the Dow and the NASDAQ rose 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.
The rally followed the Labor Department's closely watched monthly jobs report, which said that non-farm payroll employment increased by 113,000 jobs in January following a slightly upwardly revised increase of 75,000 jobs in December. Economists had been expecting a gain of 180,000 jobs.
Despite the weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate still edged down to 6.6 percent in January from 6.7 percent in December - falling to its lowest level since hitting 6.5 percent in October of 2008.
Closer to home, Malaysia's exports grew 14.4 percent in December, the Department of Statistics said on Friday, when economists expected 10 percent rise. This was the sixth consecutive growth in exports since July. Likewise, imports rose 14.8 percent annually, faster than the expected 8.2 percent increase.
The trade surplus totaled 9.47 billion ringgit compared to expectations of 9.56 billion ringgit. With this recovery, Malaysia's exports for all of 2013 advanced 2.4 percent to 719.81 billion ringgit.
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