Ahead of Wednesday’s holiday for Malaysia Day, the Malaysia stock market had climbed higher in three straight sessions – advancing more than 40 points or 2.6 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,530-point plateau although investors may cash in on Thursday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower after the Federal Reserve downgraded its GDP forecast. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were mostly in the red and the Asian markets also figure to open lower.
The KLCI finished sharply higher on Tuesday following gains from the financial shares and plantation stocks.
For the day, the index jumped 19.92 points or 1.32 percent to finish at 1,531.28 after trading between 1,503.19 and 1,532.04. Volume was 8.846 billion shares worth 5.452 billion ringgit. There were 648 gainers and 480 decliners.
Among the actives, Hartalega Holdings skyrocketed 8.46 percent, while Public Bank surged 4.11 percent, Maybank soared 3.02 percent, Sime Darby spiked 2.63 percent, CIMB Group accelerated 2.54 percent, Dialog Group jumped 2.17 percent, Malaysia Airports Holdings tumbled 2.14 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong climbed 2.06 percent, Top Glove skidded 1.75 percent, Tenaga Nasional dropped 1.61 percent, Petronas Chemicals gathered 1.61 percent, MISC perked 1.44 percent, Sime Darby Plantations advanced 1.39 percent, Maxis added 1.18 percent, AMMB Holdings sank 0.99 percent, Axiata gained 0.98 percent, Press Metal lost 0.77 percent, Genting fell 0.58 percent, Digi.com rose 0.48 percent, Genting Malaysia increased 0.47 percent, RHB Capital collected 0.43 percent, IOI Corporation was up 0.22 percent and IHH Healthcare and Hong Leong Bank were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street suggests consolidation as stocks were unable to hold early gains on Wednesday, slipping mostly into the red in the final hour of trade.
The Dow added 36.78 points or 0.13 percent to finish at 28,032.38, while the NASDAQ plunged 139.86 points or 1.25 percent to end at 11,050.47 and the S&P 500 fell 15.71 points or 0.46 percent to close at 3,385.49.
The late-day pullback came despite a dovish monetary policy announcement by the Fed, with the central bank leaving interest rates unchanged and signaling rates are likely to remain at near-zero levels for years to come.
But the Fed also downwardly revised its estimates for GDP growth in 2021 and 2022 to 4.0 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively. GDP growth in 2023 was forecast at 2.5 percent.
The sharp drop by the NASDAQ came as big-name tech companies like Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN) gave ground after solid gains a day earlier.
In economic news, the Commerce Department noted a slowdown in the pace of retail sales growth in August. Also, the National Association of Home Builders said homebuilder confidence jumped to a record high in September.
Crude oil prices rose sharply on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session after data showed an unexpected drop in U.S. crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended up $1.88 or 4.9 percent at $40.16 a barrel.
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