Soft Start Anticipated For Malaysia Stock Market

(RTTNews) - The Malaysia stock market on Monday ended the modest two-day winning streak in which it had collected almost 7 points or 0.5 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now sits just beneath the 1,540-point plateau and it may take further damage on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is weak, although losses from the technology stocks may be mitigated by support from the oil companies. The European markets were mixed and flat and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KLCI finished slightly lower on Monday following losses from the telecoms and mixed performances from the financials and plantations.

For the day, the index slid 4.85 points or 0.31 percent to finish at 1,537.54 after trading between 1,532.73 and 1,540.23.

Among the actives, AMMB Holdings added 0.24 percent, while Axiata stumbled 0.71 percent, Celcomdigi plummeted 3.18 percent, CIMB Group declined 0.76 percent, Genting retreated 0.83 percent, IHH Healthcare and Telekom Malaysia both gained 0.17 percent, IOI Corporation tanked 1.73 percent, Maxis tumbled 1.14 percent, Maybank collected 0.31 percent, MISC advanced 0.80 percent, MRDIY slumped 0.67 percent, Petronas Chemicals fell 0.15 percent, PPB Group shed 0.25 percent, Press Metal lost 0.22 percent, RHB Capital dropped 0.35 percent, Sime Darby Plantations improved 0.46 percent, Tenaga Nasional skidded 0.52 percent, YTL Corporation plunged 2.21 percent, YTL Power sank 0.26 percent and Public Bank, Petronas Gas, Genting Malaysia, QL Resources, Sime Darby and Kuala Lumpur Kepong were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as the major averages opened in the red on Monday and largely remained under water throughout the trading day.

The Dow dropped 162.26 points or 0.41 percent to finish at 39,313.64, while the NASDAQ sank 44.35 points or 0.27 percent to close at 16,384.47 and the S&P 500 fell 15.99 points or 0.31 percent to end at 5,218.19.

Weakness among technology stocks weighed on the markets, with semiconductor giant Intel (INTC) plunging by as much as 4.7 percent after reports suggested that China has introduced new guidelines to phase microprocessors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) out of government PCs and servers.

Selling pressure remained relatively subdued, however, as traders seemed reluctant to make more significant moves ahead of the release of some key economic data in the coming days, including key inflation numbers on Friday.

In economic news, the Commerce Department released a report showing new home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly decreased in February.

Oil prices moved higher on Monday amid concerns about supply disruptions after Ukraine continued to attack Russian refineries. A weak dollar amid expectations of interest rate cuts by central banks contributed as well to the rise in oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended higher by $1.32 or 1.64 percent at $81.95 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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