KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia stock market has tracked higher in back-to-back trading days, collecting more than 20 points or 1.1 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index remains just above the 1,835-point plateau although investors figure to cash in on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets if broadly negative thanks to escalating concerns over a trade war between the United States and China. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses figure to follow suit.
The KLCI finished barely higher on Friday following mixed performances from the financials, plantations and industrials.
For the day, the index picked up 0.88 points or 0.05 percent to finish at 1,837.01 after trading between 1,826.32 and 1,839.07. Volume was 3.03 billion shares worth 2.4 billion ringgit. There were 589 decliners and 383 gainers.
Among the actives, Astro Malaysia Holdings plummeted 5.24 percent, while Telekom Malaysia surged 4.87 percent, YTL Corporation spiked 2.88 percent, IJM Corporation tumbled 2.69 percent, Digi.com advanced 2.51 percent, Genting skidded 1.24 percent, CIMB Group collected 0.71 percent, Tenaga Nasional shed 0.51 percent, Petronas Chemicals added 0.49 percent, Hong Leong Financial and IOI Corporation both dipped 0.21 percent, Genting Malaysia fell 0.20 percent and Maybank, Public Bank, Sime Darby and Petronas Gas all were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street is brutal as stocks moved sharply lower on Friday when trade war concerns resurfaced. After closing higher for three straight days, the major averages showed a substantial move back to the downside.
The Dow shed 572.46 points or 2.34 percent to 23,932.76, while the NASDAQ lost 161.44 points or 2.28 percent to 6,915.11 and the S&P 500 fell 58.37 points or 2.19 percent to 2,604.47. For the week, the NASDAQ lost 2.1 percent, the S&P slumped 1.4 percent and the Dow slid 0.7 percent.
The sell-off on Wall Street came amid renewed trade war concerns after President Donald Trump threatened to impose $100 billion of additional tariffs on Chinese imports.
Negative sentiment was also when the Labor Department said U.S. job growth slowed much more than anticipated in March., while the jobless rate held steady when it was expected to fall.