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Lower Open Tipped For Malaysia Stock Market

(RTTNews) - The Malaysia stock market on Friday ended the three-day losing streak in which it had fallen almost 25 points or 1.6 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,660-point plateau although it's expected to see renewed selling pressure on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on geopolitical concerns and the ever-changing outlook for interest rates. The European markets were up and the U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses figure to follow the latter lead.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Friday as gains from the industrials and telecoms were capped by weakness from the plantations and a mixed picture from the financial sector.

For the day, the index rose 9.26 points or 0.56 percent to finish at 1,658.19 after trading between 1,649.55 and 1,658.94. Volume was 2.5 billion shares worth 1.6 billion ringgit. There were 506 gainers and 311 decliners.

Among the actives, Petronas Chemicals surged 2.49 percent, while CIMB Group soared 1.75 percent, Dialog Group spiked 1.74 percent, Tenaga Nasional jumped 1.64 percent, Maxis climbed 1.60 percent, RHB Capital tumbled 1.05 percent, Sime Darby gathered 0.90 percent, AMMB Holdings perked 0.70 percent, Sime Darby Plantations skidded 0.64 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong dropped 0.42 percent, Digi.com advanced 0.40 percent, Axiata Group shed 0.39 percent, IHH Healthcare added 0.35 percent, Genting Malaysia lost 0.30 percent, IOI Corporation fell 0.24 percent, Hong Leong Bank and Top Glove both gained 0.22 percent, Genting rose 0.15 percent, Maybank collected 0.11 percent and PPB Group eased 0.11 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks opened higher on Friday but fell into the red as the day progressed and finished in negative territory.

The Dow shed 68.80 points or 0.25 percent to finish at 27,154.20, while the NASDAQ lost 60.75 points or 0.74 percent to 8,146.49 and the S&P 500 fell 18.50 points or 0.62 percent to 2,976.61. For the week, the Dow lost 0.7 percent and the S&P 500 and NASDAQ both dropped 1.2 percent.

The initial strength in Wall Street followed upbeat earnings news from Microsoft (MSFT), as the software giant reported fiscal Q4 results that beat estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Buying interest waned however, when the New York Federal Reserve tried to walk back comments President John Williams made Thursday that seemed to endorse a near-term interest rate cut.

Crude oil prices moved up Friday on rising tensions in the Middle East after the U.S. Navy shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended up $0.33 or 0.6 percent at $55.63 a barrel. For the week, crude oil futures lost more than 7 percent on demand concerns.
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