Sunday, August 06, 2006

04-08-2006: Cautious trading ahead of US data

Share prices on Bursa Malaysia closed mixed to marginally higher on Friday. Overnight gains on Wall Street helped nudge the market higher, but gains were small as investors adopted some caution ahead of Friday night’s all-important July US non-farm payrolls report. Indeed, the cautious tone was not limited to Malaysia, but prevalent elsewhere in the region as well.

The payrolls report is the last piece of economic data before the Federal Reserve meets next Tuesday to discuss on interest rates. As such, much of what it contains later tonight is likely to determine the direction of US and global equity markets, and US interest rates.

The KLCI was in minor positive territory for most of the day, trading within a narrow four-point range. The index closed 2.7 points higher at 938. Market breadth was mixed for much of the day, but turned in favour of advancers by a 7-to-6 ratio at the close. A total of 437 million shares changed hands.

Retail and penny stocks like Iris and Leader continued to dominate trading. A few institutional stocks like Gamuda and AirAsia also made it to the top actives list – with decent gains too. The day’s top gainers include Resorts, Gamuda, Ta Ann, KFC and IOI Corp. Losers include BAT, Transmile, MPI and EON Capital. -- InsiderAsia


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