Market Commentary and Intraday News
Little Movement Expected For Malaysia Bourse
307 days ago
(RTTNews) - The Malaysia stock market has closed higher now in six consecutive trading days, gathering more than 20 points or 1.2 percent on its way to another fresh record closing high. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index finished just above the 1,650-point plateau, and now analysts are forecasting little movement at the opening of trade on Thursday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed following inconclusive economic data from the United States, as well as uncertain news from Europe. Policymakers of the Bank of England were unanimous in maintaining quantitative easing at GBP 375 billion early this month, the minutes of the August meeting revealed on Wednesday. Also, reports suggest that Greece is set to seek an extension of the austerity program agreement with its lenders. The European and U.S. markets were mixed, and the Asian bourses figure to follow suit.
The KLCI finished flat on Wednesday, responding to weakness from the financial shares, industrial issues and plantation stocks.
For the day, the index added 0.88 points or 0.05 percent to finish at the daily high of 1,653.78 after moving as low as 1,646.76. Volume was 1.113 billion shares worth 1.185 billion ringgit. There were 410 decliners and 335 gainers, with 343 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, Maybank and CIMB Group finished lower, while Sime Darby and Petronas Chemicals were both unchanged and Ingenuity Solutions and Astral Supreme were higher.
The lead from Wall Street remains inconclusive as stocks turned in another lackluster performance on Wednesday, extending the sideways move seen over the past week. Traders expressed continued uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following a mixed batch of U.S. economy data.
The New York Federal Reserve reported an unexpected contraction in regional manufacturing activity, as its general business conditions index dropped to - 5.9 in August from 7.4 in July, with a negative reading indicating a contraction in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to show 7.0.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve said industrial production increased by 0.6 percent in July compared to economist estimates for an increase of about 0.5 percent. The growth reflected increased output in each of the manufacturing, mining, and utilities sectors.
Also, the National Association of Home Builders said that its index of homebuilder confidence climbed to 37 in August from 35 in July - beating forecasts for an unchanged reading. With the increase, the homebuilder confidence index rose to its highest level since coming in at 39 in February of 2007.
The Labor Department also released a report showing that consumer prices unexpectedly came in unchanged for the second consecutive month in July.
Among individual stocks, shares of Target moved to the upside after the discount retailer reported better than expected Q2 earnings and raised its full-year guidance. Also, apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch also turned in a strong performance after reporting second quarter earnings that fell year-over-year but came in above estimates.
Meanwhile, shares of Deere tumbled by 6.3 percent after the agricultural equipment giant reported third quarter earnings that increased by less than analysts had expected. The company also lowered its full-year revenue guidance.
The major U.S. averages were mixed on Wednesday for the fifth time in the past six sessions. The Dow edged down 7.36 points or 0.1 percent to finish at 13,164.78, while the NASDAQ rose 13.95 points or 0.5 percent to end at 3,030.93 and the S&P 500 inched up 1.60 points or 0.1 percent to 1,405.53.
In economic news, Malaysia's economic growth increased 5.4 percent on an annual basis in the second quarter, the central bank said on Wednesday - faster than the 4.9 percent expansion in the first quarter, which was revised up from 4.7 percent. The latest growth rate was also bigger than 4.3 percent recorded in the second quarter of 2011.
Also, Malaysia's consumer prices increased 1.4 percent on year in July, the Department of Statistics said on Wednesday, slower than the 1.6 percent gain forecast. In June, the inflation rate was 1.6 percent. On a monthly basis, consumer prices remained unchanged in July. In the January-July period, prices advanced 1.9 percent on year.
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