The Malaysia stock market has tracked lower in back-to-back sessions, sinking almost 15 points or 0.9 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,565-point plateau although it figures to halt its slide on Tuesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on falling treasury yields and vaccine optimism. The European and U.S. markets were firmly higher and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow suit.
The KLCI finished modestly lower on Monday as losses from the glove makers and telecoms were tempered by mixed performances from the financials and plantations.
For the day, the index slipped 10.61 points or 0.67 percent to finish at 1,567.14 after trading between 1,563.18 and 1,584.46. Volume was 10.690 billion shares worth 6.093 billion ringgit. There were 733 decliners and 503 gainers.
Among the actives, Axiata retreated 2.25 percent, while CIMB Group skidded 2.54 percent, Dialog Group dropped 0.62 percent, Digi.com tanked 3.78 percent, Genting surged 5.42 percent, Genting Malaysia accelerated 2.08 percent, Hartalega Holdings plunged 6.20 percent, IHH Healthcare soared 4.13 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong shed 0.43 percent, Maybank added 0.37 percent, Maxis surrendered 1.89 percent, MISC declined 2.21 percent, Petronas Chemicals jumped 1.08 percent, PPB Group fell 0.21 percent, Press Metal perked 0.62 percent, Public Bank collected 0.96 percent, RHB Capital tumbled 2.58 percent, Sime Darby advanced 0.88 percent, Sime Darby Plantations rose 0.20 percent, Supermax cratered 9.92 percent, Telekom Malaysia sank 1.47 percent, Tenaga Nasional spiked 2.18 percent, Top Glove plummeted 6.49 percent and IOI Corporation and Hong Leong Bank were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is broadly positive as stocks opened firmly in the green on Monday and continued to accelerate as the day progressed.
The Dow spiked 603.14 points or 1.95 percent to finish at 31,535.51, while the NASDAQ surged 396.48 points or 3.01 percent to end at 13,588.83 and the S&P 500 jumped 90.67 points or 2.38 percent to close at 3,901.82.
The rally on Wall Street came amid a continued pullback by treasury yields, which has eased recent concerns about the outlook for interest rates. The yield on the benchmark ten-year note hit its highest closing level in a year last week.
Positive sentiment was also generated by news Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) single-shot Covid-19 vaccine received emergency use authorization from the FDA, paving the way for its distribution.
In U.S. economic news, the Institute for Supply Management said U.S. manufacturing activity accelerated in February. Also, the Commerce Department said U.S. construction spending increased more than expected in January.
Crude oil prices drifted lower Monday, weighed down by a likely move by major oil producers to increase crude output from April. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.86 or 1.4 percent at $60.64 a barrel.
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