Malaysian stock market could test support at 1,500 points

The Malaysian stock market has fallen in three consecutive trading days, losing nearly 15 points, or 1 percent, along the way. The new Kuala Lumpur Composite Index is just below the 1,505-point plateau and is expected to reopen under pressure on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to ease on concerns about an economic slowdown and a rise in interest rates. The European markets were mixed and the US markets were sharply lower and the Asian markets share the difference.

The KLCI ended slightly lower on Friday as losses from the financial sector, telecom and plantations were mitigated by support from the glovemakers.

For the day, the index lost 12.18 points or 0.80 percent to end at 1,504.44 after trading between 1,502.91 and 1,519.68. The volume was 2.109 billion shares worth 1.533 billion ringgit. There were 426 fallers and 395 risers.

Among the actives, Axiata collapsed 3.85 percent, while CIMB Group and Tenaga Nasional both slipped 0.91 percent, Dialog Group plunged 4.13 percent, Digi.com plunged 2.40 percent, Genting fell 0.21 percent, Genting Malaysia stumbled 1.32 percent, Hartalega Holdings added 0.56 percent, IHH Healthcare fell 1.54 percent, INARI fell 1.04 percent, IOI Corporation lost 0.24 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong and Telekom Malaysia both 0.35 percent, Maybank sank 0.34 percent, Maxis sank 2.54 percent, MISC gained 0.44 percent, MRDIY sank 1.88 percent, Petronas Chemicals eased 0.11 percent, PPB Group fell 1.63 percent, Press Metal rose 2.11 percent, Public Bank weakened 0.86 percent, RHB Capital gathered 0.17 percent, Sime Darby rose 0.43 percent, Sime Darby Plantations gave in 2.12 percent, Top Glove advanced 0.58 percent and Hong Leong Bank and Hong Leong Financial remained unchanged.

Wall Street’s lead is generally negative as the big averages opened sharply lower on Friday and remained deep in the red throughout the session.

The Dow fell 292.26 points or 0.86 percent to end at 33,706.74, while the NASDAQ plunged 260.08 points or 2.01 percent to close at 12,705.21 and the S&P 500 fell 55.26 points. or 1.29 percent to end at 4,228.48. For the week, the NASDAQ plunged 2.6 percent, the S&P fell 1.2 percent and the Dow fell 0.2 percent.

The weakness on Wall Street came as traders tried to take advantage of recent strength in the markets, which lifted key averages well from their June lows to their best levels in nearly four months.

Traders may also have taken money out of stocks ahead of this week’s economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Comments by Federal Reserve officials at the annual symposium are likely to draw attention as traders look for additional clues about the pace of future rate hikes.

Oil futures were slightly higher on Friday, but posted a weekly loss on concerns about the outlook for energy demand amid fears of a possible recession in Europe. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for September were up $0.27 or 0.3 percent to $90.77 a barrel.

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