(RTTNews) – The Malaysia stock market has climbed higher in three straight sessions, advancing more than 50 points or 3.2 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,580-point plateau although investors figure to cash in on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on growing concerns over a possible Russian invasion on Ukraine. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses are expected to open in similar fashion.
The KLCI finished modestly higher on Friday following gains from the plantation stocks and financial shares.
For the day, the index gained 8.79 points or 0.56 percent to finish at the daily high of 1,578.89 after moving as low as 1,562.91. Volume was 3.191 billion shares worth 2.416 billion ringgit. There were 509 gainers and 446 decliners.
Among the actives, Axiata advanced 1.03 percent, while CIMB Group rose 0.18 percent, Dialog Group dropped 0.72 percent, Digi.com jumped 1.72 percent, Genting improved 0.86 percent, Genting Malaysia lost 0.34 percent, Hartalega Holdings fell 0.20 percent, IHH Healthcare dipped 0.15 percent, INARI tumbled 1.80 percent, IOI Corporation spiked 2.03 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong surged 6.16 percent, Maybank collected 0.23 percent, Maxis rallied 1.61 percent, MISC shed 0.42 percent, MRDIY soared 2.75 percent, Petronas Chemicals strengthened 1.21 percent, PPB Group added 0.97 percent, Press Metal perked 0.15 percent, RHB Capital climbed 1.04 percent, Sime Darby skidded 0.89 percent, Sime Darby Plantations skyrocketed 7.91 percent, Telekom Malaysia accelerated 1.89 percent, Tenaga Nasional sank 0.87 percent, Top Glove retreated 1.37 percent and Public Bank, Hong Leong Bank and Hong Leong Financial were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is broadly negative as the major averages shook off a slightly higher open on Friday, accelerated quickly lower and finished deep in the red.
The Dow sank 503.54 points or 1.43 percent to finish at 34,738.06, while the NASDAQ plunged 394.45 points or 2.78 percent to close at 13,791.15 and the S&P 500 tumbled 85.44 points or 1.90 percent to end at 4,418.64. For the week, the Dow shed 1 percent, the NASDAQ dropped 2.2 percent and the S&P fell 1.8 percent.
The substantial weakness that emerged on Wall Street came amid concerns about a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine, which officials believe could happen any time now.
Earlier in the day, uncertainty about the outlook for interest rates led to choppy trading on speculation that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates by a full percentage point by July, including a possible 50-basis point hike in March.
Oil prices rose sharply on Friday following a report from the International Energy Agency that said oil production from OPEC was significantly below target in January. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended higher by $3.22 or 3.6 percent at $93.10 a barrel, a fresh seven-year closing high.