Markets

Malaysia Stock Market May Snap Losing Streak

(RTTNews) - The Malaysia stock market has finished lower in two straight sessions, sliding almost 25 points or 1.6 percent along the way. Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,555-point plateau although it may stop the bleeding on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat to higher, nudged into the green by gains in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and little changed and the Asian bourses are likely to follow suit.

The KLCI finished modestly lower on Tuesday following heavy damage to the glove makers, gains from the plantations and a mixed picture from the financial sector.

For the day, the index sank 13.62 points or 0.87 percent to finish at 1,554.96 after trading between 1,552.92 and 1,569.58. Volume was 10.224 billion shares worth 7.629 billion ringgit. There were 842 decliners and 323 gainers.

Among the actives, Top Glove Corporation plummeted 8.96 percent, while Hartalega Holdings plunged 5.71 percent, Petronas Dagangan surged 4.02 percent, Malaysia Airports Holdings soared 2.33 percent, Digi.com spiked 1.87 percent, Press Metal accelerated 1.37 percent, Maxis jumped 1.19 percent, IOI Corporation climbed 1.11 percent, AMMB Holdings skidded 1.01 percent, Genting gathered 0.85 percent, Sime Darby Plantations perked 0.78 percent, MISC sank 0.63 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong advanced 0.62 percent, PPB Group shed 0.51 percent, CIMB Group lost 0.29 percent, Dialog Group added 0.27 percent, Tenaga Nasional gained 0.18 percent, Petronas Chemicals rose 0.17 percent, Maybank collected 0.13 percent, Petronas Gas and Public Bank both dipped 0.12 percent and Sime Darby, RHB Capital, IHH Healthcare, Axiata and Genting Malaysia were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks moved higher on Tuesday, although the Dow eventually slipped into the red while the NASDAQ and S&P 500 hit fresh record closing highs.

The Dow shed 60.02 points or 0.21 percent to finish at 28,248.44, while the NASDAQ added 86.75 points or 0.76 percent to end at 11,466.47 and the S&P 500 rose 12.34 points or 0.36 percent to close at 3,443.62.

The drop by the Dow came as Exxon Mobil (XOM), Raytheon (RTX) and Pfizer (PFE) tumbled on the news they're being removed from the blue chip index. Those three stocks will be replaced by Salesforce.com (CRM), Honeywell (HON), and Amgen (AMGN), which rallied.

Traders were also looking ahead to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's speech at the Jackson Hole symposium on Thursday. Analysts suggest Powell will signal an increased tolerance for higher inflation, with some predicting he will call for a shift to average inflation targeting rather than the long-standing 2 percent target.

In economic news, the Commerce Department reported a bigger than expected spike in new home sales last month - while a separate report from the Conference Board showed its consumer confidence index slumped again in August.

Oil prices moved higher on Tuesday, fueled by storm-driven production cuts on the U.S. Gulf Coast as traders look ahead to weekly inventory data. West Texas Intermediate crude futures jumped 73 cents or 1.7 to $43.35 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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