Malaysia Shares Poised To Find Traction

By RTT News, 

( - The Malaysia stock market has finished lower now in three straight trading days, dipping nearly a dozen points or 0.6 percent in that span. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index settled just above the 1,855-point plateau, but now the market draws a firm start on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to higher, with many of the oversold regional markets likely to see bargain hunting - albeit with caution ahead of this week's FOMC meeting and U.S. employment data. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were mixed, and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KLCI finished slightly lower on Monday following mild weakness among the financial shares, industrial issues and plantation stocks.

For the day, the index lost 5.24 points or 0.28 percent to finish at 1,855.74 after trading between 1,855.74 and 1,862.97. Volume was 2.16 billion shares worth 1.74 billion ringgit. There were 647 decliners and 235 gainers, with 259 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Public Bank, TNB and CIMB Group all finished lower, while Maybank was flat and Axiata ended higher.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks saw considerable volatility on Monday. Upbeat corporate and economic news generated some buying interest, but lingering worries about Ukraine also weighed on the markets.

The NASDAQ eased 1.16 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 4,074.40, while the Dow rose 87.28 points or 0.5 percent to 16,448.74 and the S&P 500 climbed 6.03 points or 0.3 percent to 1,869.43.

Early in the session, traders reacted positively to news on the merger-and-acquisition front on news that drug giant Pfizer (PFE) is seeking to renew discussions about a potential takeover of British rival AstraZeneca ( AZN ).

Susser Holdings ( SUSS ) and Furiex Pharmaceuticals ( FURX ) also posted standout gains after agreeing to be acquired by Energy Transfer Partners ( ETP ) and Forest Labs ( FRX ), respectively.

Positive sentiment was also generated when the National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index surged 3.4 percent to 97.4 in March after edging down by 0.5 percent to a revised 94.2 in February. Economists had been expecting a gain of 0.6 percent.

However, traders were reluctant to buy stocks ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement on Wednesday, as well as the monthly jobs report on Friday. Lingering concerns about the ongoing crisis in Ukraine also helped to keep buying interest subdued.

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This article appears in: News Headlines

Referenced Stocks: AZN , ETP , FRX , FURX , SUSS

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