Rally May Stall For Malaysia Stock Market

(RTTNews) - The Malaysia stock market has moved higher in back-to-back sessions, collecting almost 7 points or 0.5 percent in that span. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now sits just above the 1,540-point plateau although it may run out of steam on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed, with strength from technology stocks offset by weakness from oil companies. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and the Asian bourses are likely on the same path.

The KLCI finished barely higher on Friday following gains from the telecoms and mixed performances from the financial shares and plantation stocks.

For the day, the index perked 0.98 points or 0.06 percent to finish at 1,542.39 after trading between 1,537.92 and 1,543.84.

Among the actives, Axiata gained 0.36 percent, while Celcomdigi jumped 1.38 percent, Genting skidded 1.02 percent, IHH Healthcare eased 0.17 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong advanced 0.45 percent, Maybank added 0.42 percent, MRDIY rallied 0.68 percent, Petronas Chemicals slumped1.16 percent, PPB Group climbed 0.51 percent, Press Metal shed 0.43 percent, Public Bank collected 0.47 percent, RHB Capital fell 0.35 percent, Sime Darby lost 0.38 percent, Sime Darby Plantations tumbled 1.59 percent, Telekom Malaysia rose 0.33 percent, Tenaga Nasional perked 0.17 percent, YTL Power sank 0.77 percent and MISC, CIMB Group, IOI Corporation, YTL Corporation, Genting Malaysia, Maxis and QL Resources were unchanged.¬

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as the major averages opened flat on Friday but quickly diverged, with the Dow and S&P 500 ending under water and the NASDAQ closing slightly in the green.

The Dow tumbled 305.50 points or 0.77 percent to finish at 39,475.90, while the NASDAQ added 27.02 points or 0.16 percent to close at 16,428.82 and the S&P 500 fell 7.35 points or 0.14 percent to end at 5,234.18. For the week, the NASDAQ spiked 2.9 percent, the S&P 500 surged 2.3 percent and the Dow jumped 2.0 percent.

Profit taking contributed to modest weakness in early trading, with some traders looking to cash in on the recent strength in the markets. Selling pressure was relatively subdued, however, as traders remained optimistic about the outlook for interest rates following the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement last week.

While the timing of the first rate remains somewhat uncertain the chances of a quarter point rate cut in June have rebounded to 66.5 percent, according to CME Group's FedWatch Tool.

Nvidia (NVDA) paced the tech-heavy NASDAQ, with the chipmaker surging by 3.1 percent. The AI darling, which has recently been a key driver of trading on Wall Street, ended the day at a record closing high.

Oil prices fell on Friday, as the dollar rose sharply with the Federal Reserve set to hold interest rates higher for now. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended lower by $0.44 at $80.63 a barrel.

Closer to home, Malaysia will release February numbers for consumer prices later today; in January, inflation was up 0.2 percent on month and 1.5 percent on year.

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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