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Renewed Consolidation Predicted For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market on Friday snapped the five-day losing streak in which it had slumped more than 25 points or 1.7 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,475-point plateau although it may head south again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on recession concerns and the outlook for interest rates. The European markets were up and the U.S, bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Friday following gains from the glove makers and telecoms, while the financials and plantations were mixed.

For the day, the index gained 11.26 points or 0.77 percent to finish at 1,477.19 after trading between 1,466.76 and 1,477.42.

Among the actives, Axiata added 0.98 percent, while CIMB Group gained 0.71 percent, Dialog Group improved 1.32 percent, strengthened 1.56 percent, Genting gathered 1.40 percent, Genting Malaysia jumped 1.93 percent, Hartalega Holdings soared 3.16 percent, IHH Healthcare spiked 2.56 percent, INARI lost 0.37 percent, IOI Corporation rose 0.53 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong dropped 0.95 percent, Maybank collected 0.81 percent, Maxis increased 0.78 percent, MRDIY tumbled 1.90 percent, Petronas Chemicals climbed 1.43 percent, PPB Group advanced 1.27 percent, Press Metal fell 0.21 percent, RHB Capital sank 0.53 percent, Telekom Malaysia perked 0.18 percent, Tenaga Nasional rallied 1.97 percent, Top Glove surged 4.35 percent and Sime Darby, Sime Darby Plantations, Public Bank and MISC were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as the major averages opened in the red, ticked higher midday but slumped going into the close.

The Dow dropped 305.04 points or 0.90 percent to finish at 33,476.46, while the NASDAQ sank 77.38 points or 0.70 percent to close at 11,004.62 and the S&P 500 lost 29.13 points or 0.73 percent to end at 3,934.38.

For the week, the NASDAQ plunged 4.0 percent, the S&P sank 3.4 percent and the Dow dropped 2.8 percent.

The late-day weakness on Wall Street came as traders looked ahead to this week’s highly anticipated Federal Reserve meeting.

While the Fed is widely expected to slow the pace of interest rate hikes to 50 basis points, traders have recently expressed concerns about how much further the Fed will need to raise rates in order to contain inflation.

Adding to concerns about the outlook for interest rates, the Labor Department said U.S producer prices increased more than expected last month. But the negative sentiment was partly offset by a report from the University of Michigan showing a decrease in consumers’ inflation expectations.

Crude oil futures fell on Friday. weighed down by concerns about the outlook for energy demand due to a possible global economic recession amid policy tightening by central banks. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended lower by $0.44 or 0.6 percent at $71.02 a barrel. WTI crude futures sank 11.6 percent in the week.

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