RTTNews - The Malaysian stock market has finished higher now in back-to-back sessions and in four of the last five trading days, gathering more than 40 points or 3.6 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index cracked resistance at the 1,050-point plateau, although investors do not seem confident that the market will hold that level at the opening of trade on Tuesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets offers little in the way of guidance as both the U.S. and United Kingdom markets were off Monday on holiday. Investors are likely to be spooked by the nuclear test conducted by North Korea and the worldwide condemnation that followed it, ratcheting up international tensions. The economic and corporate sectors provide no clear leads, so the Asian markets are expected to see little movement in thin trade.
The KLCI finished modestly higher on Monday, thanks to slim gains among the financials, industrials and plantations.
For the day, the index added 7.88 points or 0.71 percent to close at 1,053.14 after trading between 1,047.40 and 1,054.40. Volume was 2.016 billion shares worth 1.696 billion ringgit. There were 519 gainers and 155 decliners, with 185 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, Genting, Tenaga Nasional, KNM, Tebrau, Iris, Mulpha, Sime Darby, TM and DiGi all finished higher. Bumiputra-Commerce was flat, while TA-Warant B, Maybank and MISC ended in the red.
The U.S .markets were closed on Monday in observance of Memorial Day, but many of the European markets rose for the first time in three days as a rally among pharmaceutical stocks overshadowed a report that showed German business confidence rose less than expected in May.
A monthly survey conducted by the Munich-based Ifo Institute for Economic Research showed that German business confidence improved to 84.2 in May from 83.7 in April. However, the indicator stood below the expected reading of 85.
Crude for July delivery fell $0.62 to $61.05 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, by the time the European markets closed, as investors eyed an OPEC meeting this week and weighed evidence of a global economic recovery.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 0.20 percent higher at 857.71 points, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index rose 0.31 percent to 2,100.72 points. Around Europe, France's CAC 40 index rose 0.25 percent to 3,236.16, while Germany's DAX index fell 0.01 percent to 4,918.45. The U.K. market was closed for a holiday.
Sanofi-Aventis, France's biggest drug maker, surged up 1.6 percent after the company received a $190 million order for swine flu vaccine from the U.S. government. Swiss drug maker Roche climbed 1.6 percent after the company said its Mircera treatment helped anemia patients with chronic kidney disease in a study. Acciona jumped 2.5 percent after Celebi Hava Servisi, a Turkish provider of airport services, agreed to buy its ground-handling companies in Spain and Germany.
On the other hand, sports car maker Porsches slipped 3.1 percent after the company confirmed media reports that it received a ?700 million loan from Volkswagen to help with its finances. Deutsche Bank, Germany's largest bank, fell 1 percent after the country's financial regulator started a probe into potential violations the company uncovered in its corporate security department.
In economic news, the Malaysian central bank is on Tuesday poised to announce its interest rate decision for May, with analysts expecting the bank to keep rates on hold at 2 percent.
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