(RTTNews) – The Malaysia stock market has ticked higher in back-to-back sessions, perking more than 7 points or 0.5 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,515-point plateau although it may be stuck in neutral on Friday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is volatile, with weakness from oil and technology stocks likely to limit any upside. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to at least open lower.
The KLCI finished barely higher on Thursday following mixed performances from the financial shares, plantations, telecoms and glove makers.
For the day, the index rose 0.23 points or 0.02 percent to finish at 1,515.99 after trading between 1,510.64 and 1,518.61.
Among the actives, Axiata fell 0.27 percent, while CIMB Group eased 0.19 percent, Dialog Group climbed 0.75 percent, Digi.com retreated 1.05 percent, Genting tumbled 1.35 percent, Genting Malaysia sank 0.73 percent, Hartalega Holdings spiked 2.00 percent, IHH Healthcare advanced 0.31 percent, INARI declined 1.22 percent, IOI Corporation jumped 1.84 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong rallied 1.02 percent, Maxis shed 0.47 percent, Petronas Chemicals slid 0.22 percent, PPB Group skidded 0.85 percent, Press Metal perked 0.16 percent, Public Bank collected 0.24 percent, Sime Darby lost 0.45 percent, Sime Darby Plantations dropped 0.52 percent, Telekom Malaysia dipped 0.20 percent, Tenaga Nasional was up 0.11 percent and Top Glove, MISC, MRDIY, RHB Capital and Maybank were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is negative as the major averages opened higher on Thursday but watched those gains evaporate as the markets slid into the red as the day progressed.
The Dow dipped 7.31 points or 0.02 percent to finish at 34,160.78, while the NASDAQ plummeted 189.34 points or 1.40 percent to close at 13,352.78 and the S&P 500 lost 23.42 points or 0.54 percent to end at 4,326.51.
Stocks continued to experience intense volatility as traders weighed upbeat fourth quarter GDP against the prospect of higher interest rates.
The markets initially showed a positive reaction to a Commerce Department report showing stronger than expected GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2021. However, traders have recently shown a reluctance to maintain any meaningful moves, resulting in another rollercoaster ride.
In other economic news, the Labor Department said initial jobless claims pulled back last week, while the Commerce Department and the National Association of Realtors noted steeper than expected drops in durable goods orders and pending home sales in December.
Crude oil prices retreated Thursday as the dollar climbed after the Fed signaled that it would start raising interest rates in March. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended lower by $0.74 or 0.9 percent at $86.61 a barrel.
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