The Malaysia stock market has moved lower in two straight sessions, slipping almost a dozen points or 0.7 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,515-point plateau and it may take further damage on Friday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative on rising coronavirus cases and falling hopes for stimulus. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses are predicted to follow suit.
The KLCI finished modestly lower on Thursday following losses from the telecoms and plantations, while the financials were mixed.
For the day, the index lost 9.30 points or 0.61 percent to finish at 1,513.95 after trading between 1,512.96 and 1,524.03. Volume was 6.29 billion shares worth 4.744 billion ringgit. There were 592 decliners and 431 gainers.
Among the actives, Digi.com plummeted 3.17 percent, while Axiata plunged 3.10 percent, IOI Corporation tanked 2.92 percent, IHH Healthcare tumbled 1.78 percent, Press Metal surged 1.55 percent, MISC and Petronas Chemicals both skidded 1.49 percent, Top Glove retreated 1.48 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong declined 1.17 percent, Dialog Group surrendered 1.06 percent, AMMB Group sank 1.03 percent, Public Bank collected 1.00 percent, Sime Darby dropped 0.83 percent, Sime Darby Plantations advanced 0.81 percent, Tenaga Nasional shed 0.60 percent, Hartalega Holdings lost 0.55 percent, Genting Malaysia fell 0.49 percent, Maybank slid 0.41 percent, Genting dipped 0.33 percent, Malaysia Airports Holdings gained 0.25 percent, Maxis eased 0.20 percent, PPB Group was up 0.10 percent and RHB Capital, CIMB Group and Hong Leong Bank were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened sharply lower on Friday, then cut into the losses as the session progressed but still finished in the red for the second straight day.
The Dow fell 19.80 points or 0.07 percent to finish at 28,494.20, while the NASDAQ lost 54.86 points or 0.47 percent to end at 11,713.87 and the S&P 500 eased 5.33 points or 0.15 percent to close at 3,483.34.
The initial sell-off on Wall Street came amid uncertainty about a new stimulus bill after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested on Wednesday that a new relief package is not likely to pass before next month’s elections.
Early selling pressure was also generated by a Labor Department report showing an unexpected increase in first-time claims for U.S. jobless benefits last week.
However, stocks rebounded well off their lows after Mnuchin told reporters that he and President Donald Trump are committed to getting a stimulus deal done.
Crude oil prices rebounded from early weakness to pare most of their losses on Thursday after data showed a larger than expected drop in U.S. crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended down $0.08 or 0.2 percent at $40.96 a barrel.
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