(RTTNews) - The Malaysia stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through five trading days since the end of the three-day losing streak in which it had fallen almost 5 points or 0.3 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,575-point plateau although it may head south again on Wednesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild consolidation ahead of the Federal Reserve's highly anticipated monetary policy announcement later today. The European and U.S. markets were slightly lower and the Asian bourses are expected to follow suit.
The KLCI finished modestly higher on Tuesday following gains from the financial shares and plantation stocks.
For the day, the index collected 7.79 points or 0.50 percent to finish at 1,577.79 after trading between 1,570.18 and 1,577.98. Volume was 2.3 billion shares worth 1.9 billion ringgit. There were 408 gainers and 393 decliners.
Among the actives, RHB Capital surged 2.86 percent, while Genting Malaysia soared 2.58 percent, Sime Darby Plantations spiked 2.29 percent, CIMB Group accelerated 1.62 percent, Genting jumped 1.33 percent, Sime Darby tumbled 1.31 percent, MISC climbed 1.21 percent, IOI Corporation gathered 1.17 percent, Dialog Group perked 0.58 percent, Tenaga Nasional dropped 0.58 percent, Hartalega Holdings shed 0.57 percent, Digi.com and Public Bank both added 0.42 percent, Petronas Chemicals lost 0.27 percent, AMMB Holdings fell 0.25 percent, Maybank collected 0.24 percent, Top Glove gained 0.23 percent, Press Metal rose 0.21 percent, Maxis was up 0.18 percent and Kuala Lumpur Kepong eased 0.09 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is uninspired as stocks showed a lack of direction on Tuesday, as traders were reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the Fed's rate decision and statement.
The Dow shed 19.26 points or 0.07 percent to end at 27,071.46, while the NASDAQ lost 49.13 points or 0.59 percent to 8,276.85 and the S&P 500 fell 2.53 points or 0.08 percent to 3,036.89.
The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders took a wait-and-see approach even though the Fed is widely expected to cut interest rates by another quarter point.
Some negative sentiment was generated by reports suggesting a phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China may not be signed by the summit in Chile next month.
A mixed reaction to the latest batch of earnings news also contributed to the lackluster performance, with a notable drop by Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) weighing on the tech-heavy NASDAQ.
In economic news, the Conference Board reported that consumer confidence unexpectedly edged lower in October. Also, the National Association of Realtors showed another significant increase in pending home sales in the U.S. in September.
Crude oil futures edged lower on Tuesday amid expectations that data from Energy Information Administration (EIA) will show a jump in crude inventories. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December fell $0.27 or 0.5 percent at $55.54 a barrel, the lowest settlement in a week.
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