Malaysia Stock Market May Extend Friday's Losses

(RTTNews) – The Malaysia stock market on Friday wrote a finish to the seven-day winning streak in which it had surged almost 80 points or 4.8 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,605-point plateau and the losses may accelerate on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative due to the ongoing uncertainty created by fears that Russia will imminently invade Ukraine. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses are tipped to open in similar fashion.

The KLCI finished slightly lower on Friday as losses from the financials and telecoms were mitigated by support from the plantation stocks.

For the day, the index dipped 1.97 points or 0.12 percent to finish at 1,603.05 after trading between 1,599.80 and 1,607.42. Volume was 3.868 billion shares worth 2.989 billion ringgit. There were 510 decliners and 477 gainers.

Among the actives, CIMB Group shed 0.53 percent, while Dialog Group plunged 2,15 percent, skidded 0.95 percent, Genting climbed 0.85 percent, Genting Malaysia tumbled 1.36 percent, IHH Healthcare sank 0.61 percent, INARI plummeted 3.03 percent, IOI Corporation surged 6.47 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong soared 2.56 percent, Maybank slumped 0.23 percent, Maxis added 0.45 percent, MRDIY tanked 1.60 percent, Petronas Chemicals declined 0.97 percent, PPB Group jumped 1.97 percent, Press Metal rallied 1.01 percent, Public Bank lost 0.45 percent, RHB Capital and Petronas Gas both retreated 1.05 percent, Sime Darby dropped 0.87 percent, Sime Darby Plantations dipped 0.20 percent, Tenaga Nasional gained 0.45 percent and MISC, Top Glove, Hartalega Holdings, Telekom Malaysia and Axiata were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as the major averages opened lower on Friday and remained that way through most of the session, ending firmly in the red.

The Dow dropped 232.85 points or 0.68 percent to finish at 34,079.18, while the NASDAQ tumbled 168.65 points or 1.23 percent to close at 13,548.07 and the S&P 500 lost 31.39 points or 0.72 percent to end at 4,348.87. For the week, the Dow dropped 1.9 percent, the NASDAQ sank 1.8 percent and the S&P fell 1.6 percent.

The sustained weakness on Wall Street came amid lingering geopolitical concerns as the Ukrainian government and Russian state-controlled media continued to exchanged accusations of cease-fire violations in the eastern part of the country.

Uncertainty about the outlook for monetary policy also continued to weigh on the markets ahead of an anticipated interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve next month.

In U.S. economic news, the National Association of Realtors reported a sharp increase in existing home sales last month. Also, the Conference Board showed an unexpected pullback by its leading U.S. economic indicators in January.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Friday amid signs of negotiations to restore the Iran nuclear deal. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended lower by $0.69 or 0.36 percent at $91.07 a barrel. WTI futures shed 2.2 percent in the week.

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