Malaysia Shares May Find Traction On Monday

(RTTNews) - The Malaysia stock market has moved lower in two straight sessions, sinking more than 5 points or 0.3 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now sits just above the 1,460-point plateau although it's looking at a steady start on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets remains upbeat on optimism over the outlook for interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses are tipped to open in similar fashion.

The KLCI finished slightly lower on Friday following losses from the financial shares and plantation stocks.

For the day, the index slipped 4.01 points or 0.27 percent to finish at 1,460.67 after trading between 1,458.53 and 1,462.31.

Among the actives, Axiata declined 1.22 percent, while Celcomdigi fell 0.23 percent, CIMB Group gained 0.35 percent, Dialog Group plunged 2.73 percent, Genting tumbled 1.37 percent, Genting Malaysia slumped 0.78 percent, IHH Healthcare and IOI Corporation both dropped 0.50 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong eased 0.09 percent, Maybank slid 0.22 percent, MISC advanced 0.96 percent, MRDIY retreated 1.24 percent, Petronas Chemicals tanked 1.50 percent, PPB Group sank 0.40 percent, Press Metal perked 0.21 percent, Public Bank lost 0.24 percent, Sime Darby rallied 1.67 percent, Telekom Malaysia added 0.58 percent, Tenaga Nasional shed 0.30 percent, Westports Holdings improved 0.86 percent and RHB Capital, Sime Darby Plantations, Petronas Gas, Maxis and AMMB Holdings were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as the major averages opened lower on Friday but broke into the green by midday and finished with mild gains.

The Dow rose 1.78 points or 0.01 percent to finish at 34,947.28, while the NASDAQ added 11.78 points or 0.08 percent to close at 14,125.48 and the S&P 500 gained 5.78 points or 0.13 percent to end at 4,514.02.

For the week, the NASDAQ surged 2.4 percent, the S&P jumped 2.2 percent and the Row rallied 1.9 percent.

Optimism about the outlook for interest rates has contributed to the recent advance, as the latest data has shown signs of easing inflation.

In economic news, the Commerce Department released a report showing an unexpected increase in new residential construction and building permits in October.

Crude oil futures spiked on Friday, but the most active futures contract still posted its fourth straight weekly loss amid concerns about the outlook for near term energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December jumped $2.99 or 4.1 percent at $75.89 a barrel. WTI crude futures shed 4 percent in the week.

Closer to home, Malaysia will release October figures for imports, exports and trade balance later today. In September, imports were down 11.1 percent on year and exports dropped 13.7 percent for a trade surplus of MYR24.50 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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