(RTTNews) – The Malaysia stock market has finished lower in three straight sessions, slipping more than 20 points or 1.4 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,599-point plateau although it may find traction on Monday.
The global forecast for Asian markets is murky, clouded by uncertainty regarding stimulus in the United States. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.
The KLCI finished modestly lower on Friday following losses from the financials, industrials and properties.
For the day, the index sank 10.11 points or 0.67 percent to finish at the daily low of 1,503.84 after peaking at 1,520.31. Volume was 8.705 billion shares worth 4.768 billion ringgit. There were 583 gainers and 488 decliners.
Among the actives, Petronas Dagangan plummeted 4.24 percent, while Axiata plunged 3.20 percent, IOI Corporation tanked 2.78 percent, PPB Group tumbled 2.15 percent, AMMB Holdings spiked 2.08 percent, Maxis skidded 1.99 percent, Petronas Chemicals retreated 1.84 percent, Hartalega Holdings rallied 1.77 percent, Sime Darby jumped 1.68 percent, Public Bank declined 1.49 percent, Genting surrendered 1.32 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong sank 1.10 percent, RHB Capital dropped 0.92 percent, Maybank shed 0.83 percent, Sime Darby Plantation lost 0.61 percent, Press Metal added 0.57 percent, Dialog Group fell 0.53 percent, Genting Malaysia slid 0.50 percent, Malaysia Airports Holdings dipped 0.49 percent, Digi.com rose 0.25 percent, IHH Healthcare and Tenaga Nasional eased 0.20 percent and Petronas Gas, Top Glove, CIMB Group, MISC and Hong Leong Bank were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is uninspired after stocks opened higher on Friday but faded as the day progressed, eventually ending mixed.
The Dow added 112.11 points or 0.39 percent to finish at 28,606.31, while the NASDAQ sank 42.34 points or 0.36 percent to end at 11,671.56 and the S&P 500 rose 0.47 points or 0.01 percent to close at 3,483.81. For the week, the Dow rose 0.1 percent, the NASDAQ gained 0.8 percent and the S&P was up 0.2 percent.
The late-day pullback on Wall Street reflected lingering uncertainty about a new stimulus bill, with the slump also being attributed to the expiration of equity options.
The rally in early trading came as better than expected retail sales data tempered concerns the economic recovery may be stalling. Also, the University of Michigan reported a bigger than expected improvement in consumer sentiment in October.
Buying interest was also generated after Pfizer (PFE) Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said the drug giant will apply for emergency use of the Covid-19 vaccine it is developing with BioNTech (BNTX) soon after the safety milestone is achieved in the third week of November.
Crude oil prices ended marginally lower on Friday as worries about the demand outlook amid the continued surge in coronavirus cases weighed on the commodity. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended down $0.08 or 0.2 percent at $40.88 a barrel.