Malaysia Stock Market Due For Profit Taking

(RTTNews) - The Malaysia stock market has moved higher in five straight sessions, collecting more than 25 points or 1.5 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now sits just above the 1,505-point plateau although investors may lock in gains on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky ahead of earnings news and a FOMC rate decision and statement later this week. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The KLCI finished slightly higher on Friday as gains from the financials and telecoms were offset by weakness from the plantation stocks.

For the day, the index perked 2.18 points or 0.14 percent to finish at 1,506.28 after trading between 1,502.89 and 1,509.39.

Among the actives, Axiata sank 0.76 percent, while AMMB Holdings rallied 0.71 percent, CIMB Group climbed 0.98 percent, Genting jumped 1.49 percent, Genting Malaysia advanced 0.74 percent, IHH Healthcare perked 0.16 percent, IOI Corporation skidded 1.00 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong and Petronas Dagangan both eased 0.09 percent, Maxis lost 0.26 percent, Maybank collected 0.44 percent, MISC added 0.41 percent, MRDIY tumbled 2.10 percent, Petronas Chemicals slumped 0.74 percent, PPB Group declined 1.63 percent, Press Metal retreated 1.86 percent, Sime Darby Plantations shed 0.68 percent, Telekom Malaysia rose 0.17 percent, Tenaga Nasional gained 0.19 percent, YTL Corporation surged 3.38 percent, YTL Power soared 1.53 percent and QL Resources, Public Bank, RHB Capital, Sime Darby, Celcomdigi and Hong Leong Bank were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little guidance as the major averages opened lower on Friday, surged midday but plummeted late in the section to end mixed and little changed.

The Dow rose 60.33 points or 0.16 percent to finish at 38,109.43, while the NASDAQ slumped 55.14 points or 0.36 percent to close at 15,455.36 and the S&P 500 dipped 3.19 points or 0.07 percent to end at 4,890.97. For the week, the S&P 500 jumped 1.1 percent, the NASDAQ advanced 0.9 percent and the Dow climbed 0.7 percent.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders weighed disappointing earnings news from semiconductor giant Intel (INTC) against tamer than expected consumer price inflation data.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department released a report before the start of trading showing a bigger than expected slowdown in the annual rate of core consumer price growth in December.

Traders may also have been reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the Fed's monetary policy announcement this week. While the Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, traders will be looking for clues about the timing of highly anticipated rate cuts.

Crude oil futures settled higher on Friday amid optimism about the outlook for oil demand thanks to upbeat U.S. economic data and the Chinese central bank's fresh stimulus. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March added $0.65 or 0.84 percent at $78.01 a barrel. WTI crude futures spiked 6 percent for the week.

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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