the Malaysian stock market has finished lower in two of three trading days since the end of the nine-day winning streak in which it had gathered nearly 50 points or 3.8 percent on its way to a two-month closing high. the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index finished just above the 1,325-point plateau, but now analysts are predicting further weakness when the market opens for business on Friday.the global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly negative thanks to renewed weakness in the commodity markets –
while steel, technology and property shares are also expected to be weak. the European and U.S. markets finished sharply lower, and the Asian bourses are predicted to follow suit.the KLCI finished slightly lower on Thursday as losses among the financial and industrial sectors was offset by gains from the plantation stocks.for the day, the index eased 3.83 points or 0.3 percent to finish at 1,325.87 after trading between 1,325.71 and 1,333.49. Volume was 749.349 million shares worth 1.077 billion ringgit. There were 332 gainers and 318 decliners, with 294 stocks finishing unchanged.among the actives, KNM Group, Oilcorp, MISC, IOI Corporation and Genting all finished higher, while SAAG Consolidated was unchanged and Gamuda-Warrants, Kenmark Industrial, Petronas Dagangan, Hong Leong Bank, CIMB Group and Tenaga Nasional all ended lower.the lead from Wall Street suggests weakness as stocks declined by substantial margins on Thursday with jobless claims persisting at high levels and pessimism following May’s historically low new home sales figures. the major averages all finished firmly lower, moving further off of last Friday’s one-month closing highs.
Early weakness in the equity markets came after the Labor Department reported that jobless claims saw a modest decrease in the week ended June 19 but remained elevated well above the 400,000 level. the Labor Department data showed that first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell to 457,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 476,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to fall to 460,000 from the 472,000 originally reported for the previous week.Separately, the Commerce Department said durable goods orders fell by 1.1 percent in may following an upwardly revised 3.0 percent increase in April. Economists had expected orders to decrease by 1.3 percent compared to the 2.8 percent growth that had been reported for the previous month. Excluding a 6.9 percent drop in orders for transportation equipment, however, orders for durable goods actually increased by 0.9 percent in may compared to a 0.8 percent decrease in April. Nonetheless, the increase in ex-transportation orders fell short of economist estimates for 1.3 percent growth.in corporate news, BP reinstalled the containment cap it removed temporarily yesterday for observation of the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.
the well continues to seep oil into the Gulf at an undetermined pace.the major averages all saw choppy movement in late-session dealing, closing near their lows of the day. the Dow fell by 145.64 points or 1.4 percent to 10,152.80, the NASDAQ lost 36.81 points or 1.6 percent to close at 2,217.42 and the S&P 500 dropped by 18.35 points or 1.7 percent to 1,073.69.