Malaysia Shares Tipped To Open In The Red

(RTTNews) - The Malaysia stock market on Monday ended the two-day winning streak in which it had picked up just 4 points or 0.3 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now sits just above the 1,510-point plateau and it may take further damage on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on fading hopes that the FOMC will trim interest rates at next month's meeting. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian markets figure to follow suit.

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

For the day, the index fell 5.24 points or 0.35 percent to finish at the daily low of 1,511.34 after peaking at 1,520.98.

Among the actives, Axiata and Tenaga Nasional both slumped 1.10 percent, while Celcomdigi rose 0.24 percent, Dialog Group plummeted 2.75 percent, Genting gained 0.41 percent, Genting Malaysia climbed 0.72 percent, IHH Healthcare added 0.49 percent, Inari Amertron tumbled 1.89 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong rallied 0.91 percent, Maxis skidded 1.05 percent, Maybank fell 0.21 percent, MISC sank 0.41 percent, MRDIY advanced 0.70 percent, Petronas Chemicals declined 1.47 percent, PPB Group perked 0.14 percent, Press Metal improved 0.65 percent, Public Bank dropped 0.45 percent, RHB Capital collected 0.18 percent, Sime Darby strengthened 0.82 percent, Sime Darby Plantations retreated 1.56 percent, Telekom Malaysia jumped 0.85 percent and CIMB Group, IOI Corporation, Petronas Dagangan and QL Resources were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street negative as the major averages opened lower on Monday and remained in the red throughout the trading day.

The Dow tumbled 274.30 points or 0.71 percent to finish at 38,380.12, while the NASDAQ shed 31.28 points or 0.20 percent to end at 15,597.68 and the S&P 500 slipped 15.80 points or 0.32 percent to close at 4,942.81.

The early weakness on Wall Street came as some traders looked to cash in on last week's rally amid fading optimism about the likelihood the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates in March.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated the central bank is unlikely to cut interest rates next month during an interview over the weekend. Powell suggested the strength of the U.S. economy even amidst elevated rates will allow the Fed to proceed carefully.

Stocks fell to their lows of the session as the Institute for Supply Management released a report showing U.S. service sector growth accelerated by more than expected in January, further dampening hopes for a rate cut.

Oil futures settled higher on Monday as concerns about trade and supply disruptions outweighed a firm dollar. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March settled lower by $0.50 or 0.7 percent a barrel at $72.78 a barrel.

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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