Malaysia Shares Likely To Remain Rangebound

Ahead of the long holiday weekend, the Malaysia stock market has finished lower in four straight sessions, surrendering almost 15 points or 0.8 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,770-point plateau and it figures to remain in that neighborhood on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is cloudy, with little movement expected as firm crude oil prices figure to prevent too much damage. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and little changed on Friday and the Asian markets are expected to follow that lead.

The KLCI finished slightly lower on Thursday as losses from the plantation stocks were mitigated by support from the financial sector.

For the day, the index slid 2.54 points or 0.2 percent to finish at 1,771.04 after trading between 1,770.70 and 1,776.31. Volume was 3.25 billion shares worth 2.41 billion ringgit. There were 473 decliners and 385 gainers, with 392 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, RHB Capital spiked 2.52 percent, while Genting Malaysia skidded 1.58 percent, AMMB Holdings tumbled 1.32 percent, Axiata Group climbed 0.99 percent, IOI Corporation shed 0.65 percent, CIMB Group collected 0.63 percent, IHH Healthcare lost 0.51 percent, Tenaga Nasional fell 0.41 percent, Petronas Chemical added 0.14 percent and Sime Darby and Maybank were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is uninspired as stocks were lackluster on Friday, hovering near the unchanged line before ending mixed.

The Dow shed 9.64 points or 0.04 percent to 22.349.59, while the NASDAQ added 4.23 points or 0.07 percent to 6,426.92 and the S&P gained 1.62 points or 0.06 percent to 2,502.22. For the week, the NASDAQ eased 0.3 percent, the Dow rose 0.4 percent and the S&P added 0.1 percent.

The choppy trading reflected geopolitical concerns amid an escalating war of words between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump. Also, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said his country may consider testing a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean.

Crude oil prices inched higher Friday, preserving weekly gains as OPEC met in Vienna to discuss output cuts. November oil rose 11 cents to $50.66 a barrel for a weekly gain over 0.4 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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