Malaysia Stock Market May Extend Winning Streak

(RTTNews) – The Malaysia stock market has finished higher in four straight sessions, gathering more than 35 points or 2.3 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,490-point plateau and it’s tipped to open in the green again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on easing concerns over the outlook for interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian markets figure to follow that lead.

The KLCI finished slightly higher on Wednesday following gains from the telecoms, losses from the plantations and a mixed picture from the financial shares.

For the day, the index rose 4.22 points or 0.28 percent to finish at the daily high of 1,488.19 after trading as low as 1,478.31.

Among the actives, Axiata spiked 1.64 percent, while CIMB Group collected 0.37 percent, Dialog Group gained 0.39 percent, soared 1.65 percent, Genting added 0.40 percent, IHH Healthcare and AMMB Holdings both climbed 0.51 percent, INARI tumbled 1.92 percent, IOI Corporation slumped 0.26 percent, Maxis advanced 0.50 percent, MISC slipped 0.27 percent, MRDIY surged 6.29 percent, Petronas Chemicals and Sime Darby both rallied 0.86 percent, PPB Group climbed 0.68 percent, Public Bank fell 0.24 percent, RHB Capital rose 0.18 percent, Sime Darby Plantations shed 0.46 percent, Telekom Malaysia jumped 0.96 percent, Tenaga Nasional gathered 0.20 percent and Kuala Lumpur Kepong, Maybank, Press Metal, Genting Malaysia, Nestle Malaysia and Hong Leong Bank were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street ends up positive as the major averages opened sharply lower on Wednesday but improved steadily throughout the session and finished in the green.

The Dow added 38.78 points or 0.11 percent to finish at 34,128.05, while the NASDAQ jumped 110.45 points or 0.92 percent to end at 12,070.59 and the S&P 500 rose 11.47 points or 0.28 percent to close at 4,147.60.

The early weakness on Wall Street reflected ongoing concerns about the outlook for interest rates following the release of upbeat retail sales data.

The sharp increase in retail sales has led to concerns the Federal Reserve will be encouraged to continue aggressively raising interest rates in an effort to combat inflation.

The concerns about rates may have been partly offset by a separate report from the Federal Reserve showing U.S. industrial production was unexpectedly unchanged in January.

Crude oil prices came off daily lows but still moved solidly lower on Wednesday, hurt by a stronger U.S. dollar and a spike in U.S. crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate was down $0.47 or 0.6 percent to $78.59 per barrel.