The Malaysia stock market closed higher on Friday, one day after it had snapped the two-day winning streak in which it had picked up more than 20 points or 1.3 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,600-point plateau and it figures to extend its gains on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on solid economic data, easing bond yields and support from crude oil prices. The European markets were down and the U.S. markets were up and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.
The KLCI finished sharply higher on Friday following gains from the financial shares, glove makers and industrials.
For the day, the index climbed 18.86 points or 1.19 percent to finish at the daily high of 1,600.12 after moving as low as 1,579.74. Volume was 7.978 billion shares worth 5.149 billion ringgit. There were 617 decliners and 561 gainers.
Among the actives, Axiata increased 0.59 percent, while CIMB Group gathered 2.75 percent, Dialog Group improved 0.62 percent, Digi.com lost 0.28 percent, Genting Malaysia shed 0.34 percent, Hartalega Holdings advanced 1.04 percent, IHH Healthcare plunged 2.56 percent, IOI Corporation fell 0.23 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong gained 0.78 percent, Maybank collected 1.95 percent, Maxis eased 0.22 percent, MISC accelerated 3.03 percent, Petronas Chemicals added 0.90 percent, PPB Group rose 0.65 percent, Press Metal skidded 1.23 percent, Public Bank rallied 2.84 percent, RHB Capital soared 3.38 percent, Sime Darby strengthened 0.44 percent, Supermax spiked .21 percent, Telekom Malaysia perked 2.35 percent, Tenaga Nasional sank 0.58 percent, Top Glove surged 5.85 percent and Genting and Sime Darby Plantations were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street ends up positive as stocks opened higher on Friday, fell into the red but then spiked to close firmly in the green.
The Dow surged 572.16 points or 1.85 percent to finish at 31,496.30, while the NASDAQ jumped 196.68 points or 1.55 percent to end at 12,920.15 and the S&P 500 climbed 73.47 points or 1.95 percent to close at 3,841.94. For the week, the Dow added 1.8 percent, the NASDAQ sank 2.1 percent and the S&P rose 0.8 percent.
The wild ride on Wall Street came as traders kept a close eye on the bond markets following the recent increase in yields – which spiked early in the session after the release of upbeat jobs data.
However, bond yields eased to end nearly flat, which inspired traders to pick up stocks at relatively reduced levels following the weakness seen in recent sessions.
The volatility in the markets followed the release of the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report, which showed much stronger than expected job growth in February. The report also said the jobless rate fell to 6.2 percent, the lowest in a year.
Crude oil prices rose sharply on Friday, extending gains after OPEC decided to maintain its output reduction agreement through April. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended higher by $2.26 or 3.5 percent at $66.09 a barrel, the highest settlement since June 2019. WTI futures gained more than 7 percent in the week.
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