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Friday, February 11, 2011

Morning Markets Round-up 11 February 2011

Malaysian Stocks Plunge On Profit Takings;
Weakness May Continue
The Malaysian stock market has finished lower now in back-to-back sessions, plummeting more than 35 points or 2.3 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index finished just above the 1,500-point plateau amid profit taking activities, and now traders are expecting the market to show little movement at the opening of trade on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed, with sentiment remaining cautious over the increasing tensions in Egypt. Technology and oil stocks could see some gains, while gold and telecoms may see selling pressure. The European and U.S. markets finished mixed but little changed, and the Asian markets are predicted to follow that lead.

The KCLI finished sharply lower on Thursday, following heavy damage among the financials and plantations, plus more modest damage from the industrial stocks.

For the day, the index plunged 32.08 points or 2.13 percent to finish at the daily low of 1,503.99 after peaking at 1,527.39. Volume was 2.23 billion shares worth 3.13 billion ringgit. There were 752 decliners and 158 gainers, with 223 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the actives, Talam, Multi-Purpose Holdings, Maybank, CIMB Group Holdings, Sime Darby and Petronas Chemicals Group all finished lower, while SAAG Consolidated was unchanged.
WALL STREET : DJIA Snap Winning Streak
S&P And Nasdaq Eke Out Minor Gains
Stocks retreated at the sound of the opening bell today, as a dose of disappointing earnings reports overshadowed promising unemployment data. Most notably, Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Akamai Technologies (AKAM) dominated headlines, after both tech titans offered up lackluster guidance. What's more, the duo of dismal outlooks was enough to negate any optimism stemming from the latest jobless figures, with the Labor Department announcing that first-time filings for unemployment benefits approached a three-year nadir last week.

However, stocks bounced back in the final minutes of trading, after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak assured the world that he wouldn't run for re-election, and that he'll transfer some power to his vice president in the meantime. Although expectations for an imminent resignation were squashed – likely to the dismay of protestors in Cairo – the news was enough to pare the blue chips' losses, and even bolster the S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq Composite into the black by the bell.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 12,229.29) chipped away at its deficit throughout the session, settling with a loss of 10.6 points, or 0.1%, to snap its eight-session winning streak. Sixteen of the Dow's 30 components ended lower, led by Cisco Systems' 14.1% slide, while American Express (AXP) and Intel (INTC) paced the bullish minority with gains of 1.8% and 1.6%, respectively. Despite today's dip, however, the Dow is still on pace to end the week more than 1% higher.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,321.87) also pared its losses throughout the day, eventually eking out a gain of nearly 1 point, or 0.07%. In similar fashion, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2,790.45) poked its head above breakeven in the final minutes of trading, adding 1.4 points, or 0.05%, by the bell.

Crude futures finished near the flat line today, thanks to uncertainty surrounding the political fate of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Furthermore, concerns about possible supply disruptions at the Suez Canal kept black gold near breakeven, offsetting expectations for rising demand. More specifically, the International Energy Agency said it expects global oil demand to grow by 120,000 barrels to 89.3 million barrels a day in 2011, while the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) forecast demand of 87.7 million barrels this year. Against this backdrop, March-dated crude futures ended just two pennies higher at $86.73 per barrel.

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