Malaysian shares to hinge on crude oil, Japan data

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 28): The performance of Malaysian shares may hinge on falling  crude oil prices and Japan economic data today.

Investors may focus on both factors in the absence of US market leads. US markets were closed yesterday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Yesterday, Malaysia's FBM KLCI fell 12.26 points or 0.67% to  1,829.91 points on technical correction. The correction followed gains for the past three days.

Today, Malaysian oil and gas-related shares may be in the spotlight after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided not to reduce crude oil output. OPEC's decision was despite falling oil prices.

Reuters reported that Brent crude oil plunged as much as US$6.50 a barrel on Thursday, and US crude fell by nearly as much, posting the steepest one-day falls since 2011, after OPEC decided against cutting output despite a huge oversupply in world markets.

Benchmark Brent futures settled at US$72.58 a barrel, down US$5.17, after hitting a four-year low of US$71.25 earlier in the session. US crude was last down US$4.64 at US$69.05 a barrel.

In Japan, policy makers will announce economic data, which include inflation, and industrial output.   

Nikkei 225 futures had gained 40 points to 17,290 ahead of the data annnouncement and market open.