Malaysia Bourse May Hand Back Thursday's Gains

(RTTNews) - The Malaysia stock market bounced higher again on Thursday, one day after ending the two-day winning streak in which it had picked up more than 5 points or 0.3 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now sits just above the 1,610-point plateau although it's likely to see renewed consolidation on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests consolidation, largely on profit taking following recent gains. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses are expected to follow suit.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Thursday following gains from the financial shares, plantation stocks and telecoms.

For the day, the index added 7.88 points or 0.49 percent to finish at 1,511.11 after trading between 1,604.38 and 1,611.57.

Among the actives, Axiata improved 0.35 percent, while Celcomdigi and Press Metal sank 0.74 percent, CIMB Group perked 0.15 percent, Genting lost 0.21 percent, Genting Malaysia jumped 0.74 percent, IHH Healthcare shed 0.32 percent, IOI Corporation gained 0.25 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong added 0.27 percent, Maxis climbed 0.56 percent, Maybank collected 0.40 percent, MRDIY jumped 1.12 percent, Petronas Chemicals soared 1.32 percent, PPB Group spiked 1.18 percent, Public Bank accelerated 0.96 percent, QL Resources advanced 0.46 percent, RHB Capital gathered 0.18 percent, Sime Darby strengthened 0.70 percent, Sime Darby Plantations rose 0.23 percent, Tenaga Nasional surged 2.10 percent, YTL Corporation advanced 0.55 percent, YTL Power rallied 0.78 percent and MISC and Telekom Malaysia were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street ends up soft as the major averages spent most of Thursday in the green before a late wave of profit taking nudged them under water.

The Dow shed 38.62 points or 0.10 percent to finish at 39,869.38, while the NASDAQ sank 44.07 points or 0.26 percent to close at 16,698.32 and the S&P dipped 11.05 points or 0.21 percent to end at 5,297.10.

The early strength on Wall Street reflected an extension of the rally seen during Wednesday's session, which came amid optimism about the outlook for interest rates following tamer-than-expected consumer price inflation data.

Buying interest waned over the course of the session, however, with traders pausing to lock in recent gains.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted a pullback by initial jobless claims last week. Also, a separate Labor Department report showed U.S. import prices jumped more than expected in April, and industrial production came in flat last month.

Oil prices advanced on Thursday, continuing to benefit from recent data showing a larger than expected decline in crude inventories in the U.S. last week. Hopes of an interest rate cut in September contributed as well to the rise in oil prices. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for June ended higher by $0.60 at $79.23 a barrel.

Closer to home, Malaysia will release Q1 numbers for gross domestic product and current account later today; in the previous three months, GDP was up 3.0 percent on year and the current account surplus was NYR0.25 billion.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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