The Malaysia stock market has moved lower in back-to-back sessions, sinking nearly 20 points or 1.2 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,565-point plateau although it may find traction on Wednesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat, with oil and technology stocks likely to continue to weigh. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and little changed and the Asian bourses figure to follow that lead.
The KLCI finished modestly lower on Tuesday following losses from the glove makers and financial shares.
For the day, the index fell 5.41 points or 0.34 percent to finish at the daily low of 1,565.05 after peaking at 1,580.68. Volume was 11.459 billion shares worth 5.541 billion ringgit. There were 603 gainers and 602 decliners.
Among the actives, Supermax tumbled 1.45 percent, while Top Glove plunged 1.90 percent, Hartalega Holdings plummeted 4.98 percent, Genting soared 3.79 percent, Press Metal perked 0.23 percent, CIMB Group collected 0.72 percent, Maxis advanced 0.43 percent, MISC fell 0.30 percent, Sime Darby Plantations rose 0.21 percent, Axiata tanked 1.76 percent, Maybank skidded 0.75 percent, Petronas Chemicals retreated 0.66 percent, RHB Capital shed 0.37 percent, Public Bank declined 0.49 percent, Genting Malaysia surged 3.99 percent, Tenaga Nasional was up 0.10 percent, IHH Healthcare improved 0.20 percent, PPB Group climbed 0.66 percent, Dialog Group sank 0.62 percent, Telekom Malaysia and Sime Darby both dropped 0.46 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong lost 0.34 percent, Digi.com spiked 1.07 percent and IOI Corporation was unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street suggests a hint of support as stocks staged a recovery after opening sharply lower on Tuesday as the Dow and S&P managed to pick into positive territory.
The Dow added 15.66 points or 0.05 percent to finish at 31,537.35, while the NASDAQ fell 67.85 points or 0.50 percent to end at 13,465.20 and the S&P 500 rose 4.87 points or 0.13 percent to close at 3,881.37.
The early sell-off on Wall Street reflected concerns about the outlook for inflation and the potential for higher interest rates due to the recent increase in bond yields. The yields on ten-year notes and thirty-year bonds reached their highest intraday levels since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic earlier in the day.
However, selling pressure waned after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s remarks before the Senate Banking Committee. Powell reiterated interest rates will remain at near-zero levels and the Fed will continue its asset purchases at the current rate until “substantial further progress” has been made toward its goals of maximum employment and price stability.
In U.S. economic news, the Conference Board said consumer confidence has improved more than expected in February.
Crude oil prices ended slightly lower on Tuesday after surging in the previous session. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.03 at $61.67 a barrel.
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