RTTNews - Ahead of Monday's market holiday for National Day, the Malaysian stock market on Friday saw an end to the modest two-day winning streak in which it had added 5 points or 0.4 percent in the process. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index slid below the 1,175-point plateau - and now analysts expect to see those losses accelerate at the opening of trade on Tuesday, playing catch-up to a missed day of broadly negative sentiment.
The global forecast for the Asian markets remains solidly pessimistic after most of the markets saw heavy losses in Monday's trade. Resource stocks are expected to remain under pressure following a fall in commodity prices, while airlines, properties and financials also could see significant losses. The European and U.S. markets finished broadly negative, and the Asian markets are also tipped to move to the downside.
The KLCI finished slightly lower on Friday, as heavy losses among the financials were largely offset by gains among the plantations.
For the day, the index eased 2.63 points or 0.22 percent to close at 1,174.27. Volume was 632.06 million shares worth 1.308 billion ringgit. There were 390 decliners and 258 gainers, with 251 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, Tas Offshore, Bumiputra-Commerce, KNM, MSports and Petronas Gas all finished lower, while Maybank and IOI Corp were unchanged and Axiata, YTL Power, Tanjong, Selangor Properties, Panasonic, LPI Capital, Nestle, Sime Darby, Tenaga Nasional, Public Bank, DiGi, Genting and MAS all finished higher.
The lead from Wall Street is firmly negative as stocks remained mostly negative throughout the trading day on Monday after moving sharply lower in early trading. While the major averages did not see much follow-through on their initial downward move, they remained stuck in the red.
The weakness in the markets came as a sell-off in the Chinese stock market inspired some traders to cash in on recent strength. Nonetheless, selling pressure remained relatively subdued ahead of the release of some key economic data later this week.
Traders largely shrugged off the results of the Institute for Supply Management - Chicago's survey of regional manufacturing activity, which showed that activity unexpectedly reached neutral territory in August following ten consecutive months of contraction. The index of manufacturing activity rose to 50.0 in August from 43.4 in July, with a reading of 50 acting as the breakeven point versus contraction and expansion. Economists had been expecting a more modest increase to a reading of 48.0.
In corporate news, Walt Disney (DIS) announced that it has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment (MVL) in a stock and cash transaction. Marvel shareholders will receive a total of $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own.
The major averages moved well off their lows going into the close, although they still ended the day firmly in negative territory. The Dow closed down by 47.92 points or 0.5 percent at 9,496.28, the NASDAQ fell by 19.71 points or 1 percent to 2,009.06 and the S&P 500 slipped by 8.31 points or 0.8 percent to close at 1,020.62.
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