(RTTNews) – The Malaysia stock market has finished higher in five straight sessions, gathering almost 65 points or 4 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,685-point plateau although investors figure to lock in gains on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed, thanks to a combination of coronavirus concerns, coronavirus vaccines and expected profit taking. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed but little changed and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.
The KLCI finished sharply higher on Friday following large gains from the financials and more measured upside from the plantations, while the glove makers were soft.
For the day, the index surged 30.19 points or 1.82 percent to finish at 1,684.58 after trading between 1,660.49 and 1,689.77. Volume was 10.031 billion shares worth 6.188 billion ringgit. There were 690 decliners and 626 gainers.
Among the actives, Public Bank skyrocketed 8.42 percent, while Maybank surged 6.32 percent, AMMB Holdings soared 6.00 percent, Hartalega Holdings plummeted 4.46 percent, Genting spiked 4.24 percent, CIMB Group collected 3.97 percent, Hong Leong Financial accelerated 3.56 percent, Axiata rallied 3.48 percent, Genting Malaysia jumped 3.45 percent, Petronas Chemicals climbed 3.00 percent, PPB Group plunged 2.56 percent, Sime Darby Plantations gathered 1.98 percent, Press Metal tanked 1.74 percent, Tenaga Nasional skidded 1.52 percent, Malaysia Airports Holdings perked 1.39 percent, Top Glove tumbled 1.29 percent, Sime Darby sank 0.86 percent, IOI Corporation advanced 0.67 percent, Maxis added 0.60 percent, MISC shed 0.59 percent, Dialog Group lost 0.57 percent, Hong Leong Bank gained 0.53 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong rose 0.42 percent, Petronas Gas fell 0.35 percent, Digi.com increased 0.24 percent, IHH Healthcare was up 0.18 percent and RHB Capital was unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks opened lower on Friday and saw limited movement but managed to finish mixed for the second straight day.
The Dow added 47.07 points or 0.16 percent to finish at 30.046.37, while the NASDAQ fell 27.93 points or 0.23 percent to end at 12,377.87 and the S&P 500 eased 4.64 points or 0.13 percent to close at 3,663.46. For the week, the Dow fell 0.6 percent, the NASDAQ lost 0.7 percent and the S&P was down 1 percent.
The uptick by the Dow was partly due to a strong gain by shares of Disney (DIS), which spiked 13.5 percent after the company forecast strong subscriber growth for Disney+ and announced an increase in the price of the streaming service.
The lower close by the broader NASDAQ and S&P 500 came as lawmakers in Washington remain at an impasse over a new fiscal stimulus bill. The Senate managed to pass a temporary spending bill to prevent a government shutdown, but the lack of a breakthrough on a new relief package has raised concerns among traders.
Selling pressure was relatively subdued, however, as traders also reacted to upbeat news regarding a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX).
Crude oil prices drifted lower on Friday as a surge in coronavirus cases and tighter restrictions on businesses raised concerns about the outlook for energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended down $0.21 or 0.5 percent at $46.57 a barrel.
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