Trading seen subdued ahead of Chinese New Year break

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 4): Trading on Bursa Malaysia is seen subdued today as the local stock exchange closes after the morning session as the entire country braces for the Lunar New Year holidays starting Tuesday.

Most retail investors and traders are likely to have commenced their holidays for the Chinese New Year and the remaining are expected to stay on the sidelines today with very little corporate news flow to boost sentiment.

Bond yields rose and stock markets mostly edged higher on Friday after U.S. employment and manufacturing data underscored a strong economy with little wage inflation, but a gloomy outlook from Amazon.com gave investors pause, according to Reuters.

U.S. job growth surged in January, with employers hiring the most workers in 11 months, the Labor Department said, pointing to underlying strength in the economy despite an uncertain outlook that has left the Federal Reserve wary about more interest rate hikes this year, it said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 64.22 points, or 0.26 percent, to 25,063.89. The S&P 500 gained 2.43 points, or 0.09 percent, to 2,706.53 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 17.87 points, or 0.25 percent, to 7,263.87, said Reuters.

Based on corporate announcements and news flow last Thursday, companies in focus today may include: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), AirAsia Bhd, AirAsia X Bhd, Vizione Holdings Bhd, Vertice Bhd, AmanahRaya REIT, Bina Darulaman Bhd, RHB Bank Bhd, PrestariangBhd, Eduspec Holdings Bhd, Berjaya Food Bhd, Heitech Padu Bhd ,CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Dolomite Corporation Bhd, Gunung Capital Bhd, Astro Holdings Bhd and Crest Builder Holdings Bhd.