(RTTNews) – The Malaysia stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last four trading days since the end of the five-day losing streak in which it had stumbled more than 25 points or 1.7 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,510-point plateau and it’s likely to be rangebound again on Thursday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat to lower, thanks mainly to sinking crude oil prices. The European markets were barely down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.
The KLCI finished modestly lower on Wednesday following losses from the plantations and telecoms, while the financials were mixed.
For the day, the index slid 7.24 points or 0.48 percent to finish at 1,512.32 after trading between 1,509.57 and 1,522.87. Volume was 4.379 billion shares worth 2.997 billion ringgit. There were 542 decliners and 411 gainers.
Among the actives, Axiata dipped 0.26 percent, while CIMB Group advanced 0.67 percent, Dialog Group shed 0.35 percent, Digi.com plunged 2.35 percent, Genting retreated 1.67 percent, Genting Malaysia skidded 1.79 percent, Hartalega Holdings surged 2.11 percent, IOI Corporation and Top Glove both slid 0.27 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong fell 0.30 percent, Maybank eased 0.12 percent, Maxis tumbled 1.81 percent, MISC sank 0.72 percent, MRDIY plummeted 2.92 percent, Petronas Chemicals surrendered 0.86 percent, PPB Group and Telekom Malaysia both lost 0.33 percent, Public Bank was down 0.25 percent, RHB Capital added 0.38 percent, Sime Darby tanked 1.82 percent, Sime Darby Plantations declined 1.58 percent, Tenaga Nasional dropped 0.41 percent and IHH Healthcare and Press Metal were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks opened higher on Wednesday but then cooled and hugged the unchanged line, eventually finishing mixed and flat.
The Dow added 44.44 points or 0.13 percent to finish at 34,993.23, while the NASDAQ lost 32.70 points or 0.22 percent to end at 14,644.95 and the S&P 500 rose 5.09 points or 0.12 percent to close at 4,374.30.
Stocks moved to the upside early in the session amid a positive reaction to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s remarks before the House Financial Services Committee, which suggested the central bank is not likely to begin tightening monetary policy anytime soon.
Later in the day, the Federal Reserve released its Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions in each of the twelve Fed districts. The Beige Book noted the U.S. economy strengthened from late May to early July, with the pace of growth described as moderate to robust.
On the earnings front, financial giant Citigroup (C) reported better than expected Q2 earnings, while Delta Air Lines (DAL) reported a narrower than expected Q2 loss on revenues that exceeded estimates. Bank of America (BAC) reported Q2 earnings that beat expectations but on weaker than expected revenues.
Crude oil futures settled lower on Wednesday, weighed down by data showing a drop in gasoline demand. Data showing a drop in China’s first-half crude imports also weighed on oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August tumbled $2.12 or 2.8 percent at $73.13 a barrel.