(RTTNews) – The Malaysia stock market has moved lower in consecutive trading days, sliding more than 25 points or 1.6 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,585-point plateau although it may stop the bleeding on Friday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is cautiously optimistic, with technology stocks expected to push markets into the green. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were up and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.
The KLCI finished sharply lower on Thursday following losses from the financials, telecoms and glove makers, while the plantations were mixed.
For the day, the index sank 21.07 points or 1.31 percent to finish at the daily low of 1,583.68 after peaking at 1,596.55. Volume was 9.532 billion shares worth 4.483 billion ringgit. There were 730 decliners and 462 gainers.
Among the actives, Hong Leong Bank plummeted 5.51 percent, while Sime Darby plunged 4.13 percent, Public Bank tanked 3.57 percent, AMMB Holdings tumbled 2.97 percent, PPB Group skidded 2.74 percent, Malaysia Airports Holdings retreated 2.68 percent, RHB Capital declined 2.51 percent, Hartalega Holdings surrendered 2.22 percent, CIMB Group sank 2.15 percent, Axiata dropped 2.06 percent, Genting shed 1.68 percent, Maybank lost 1.58 percent, Genting Malaysia fell 1.57 percent, Maxis slid 1.56 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong advanced 1.03 percent, Top Glove dipped 1.00 percent, Sime Darby Plantations slipped 0.95 percent, IOI Corporation weakened 0.88 percent, IHH Healthcare lost 0.73 percent, Petronas Chemicals added 0.30 percent, Digi.com gained 0.24 percent, Tenaga Nasional eased 0.18 percent, Press Metal was down 0.16 percent and Hong Leong Financial, Dialog Group and MISC were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street suggests mild upside as stocks opened lower on Thursday but picked up ground as the day progressed and finally ended in positive territory.
The Dow added 44.81 points or 0.15 percent to finish at 29,483.23, while the NASDAQ jumped 103.11 points or 0.87 percent to end at 11,904.71 and the S&P 500 rose 14.08 points or 0.39 percent to close at 3,581.87.
The gains by the NASDAQ reflected expectations that new lockdowns as a result of the recent spike in coronavirus cases will benefit technology companies, as was seen earlier in the pandemic. Data showed 170,161 new coronavirus cases in the U.S. on Wednesday, while daily deaths hit 1,848.
The recent surge in coronavirus cases has led several states to impose new restrictions and lockdowns, possibly leading more Americans to again relying on tech as they work from home.
The markets also got a boost from comments from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., saying Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., has agreed to resume negotiations over a new stimulus bill.
In economic news, the Labor Department said jobless claims unexpectedly spiked last week, while the National Association of Realtors said existing home sales jumped more than expected,
Crude oil futures ended lower on Thursday as rising coronavirus cases in the U.S. and Europe and fresh lockdown measures raised concerns for energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended down $0.08 or 0.2 percent at $41.74 a barrel.