(RTTNews) – The Malaysia stock market has finished lower in two of three trading days since the end of the three-day winning streak in which it had gained almost 15 points or 1 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,500-point plateau although it figures to bounce higher again on Friday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat thanks to expectations for further stimulus. Technology stocks figure to lead the markets higher, although sliding oil prices may weigh. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourse figure to follow suit.
The KLCI finished modestly lower on Thursday as losses from the plantations and financials were tempered by support from the glove makers and a mixed picture from the telecoms.
For the day, the index sank down 8.05 points or 0.53 percent to finish at 1,496.77 after trading between 1,491.13 and 1,503.86. Volume was 4.912 billion shares worth 2.602 billion ringgit There were 501 gainers and 498 decliners.
Among the actives, Sime Darby Plantations plummeted 5.15 percent, while MISC plunged 2.80 percent, IHH Healthcare tanked 2.31 percent, PPB Group tumbled 1.58 percent, IOI Corporation skidded 1.57 percent, Top Glove soared 1.57 percent, RHB Capital retreated 1.53 percent, Malaysia Airports Holdings jumped 1.27 percent, Tenaga Nasional declined 1.14 percent, Maxis surrendered 0.98 percent, Petronas Chemicals climbed 0.71 percent, Axiata sank 0.68 percent, Press Metal dropped 0.58 percent, Maybank shed 0.55 percent, Public Bank collected 0.51 percent, Hartalega Holdings added 0.50 percent, Digi.com lost 0.50 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong fell 0.44 percent, Sime Darby slid 0.40 percent, AMMB Holdings dipped 0.33 percent, Genting was down 0.31 percent, Dialog Group rose 0.26 percent and Petronas Dagangan, CIMB Group and Genting Malaysia were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks moved higher on Thursday, with the NASDAQ in particular posting standout gains.
The Dow rose 35.20 points or 0.13 percent to finish at 27,816.90, while the NASDAQ surged 159.00 points or 1.42 percent to end at 11,326.51 and the S&P 500 gained 17.80 points or 0.53 percent to close at 3,380.80.
The strength on Wall Street came on optimism that lawmakers will ultimately reach a deal on a new coronavirus relief bill as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continue to work toward a potential agreement.
In economic news, the Labor Department reported a bigger than expected drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits last week. Also, the Commerce Department noted a steep drop in U.S. personal income in August.
Crude oil prices declined sharply on Thursday, weighed down by concerns about the outlook for energy demand as reports show new coronavirus cases continued to rise. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended lower by $1.50 or 3.7 percent at $38.72 a barrel.