KUALA LUMPUR (June 5): Malaysian shares may today track overnight US equity losses and lower crude oil prices. Malaysian stocks may also take the cue from the nation's external trade data announcement today.
The Statistics Department is expected to announce the April external trade numbers at about 12 noon.
Yesterday, the FBM KLCI fell 7.69 points or 0.4% to close at 1,741.48. In overnight US trades, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.94%, S&P 500 lost 0.86% while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.79%.
Brent crude oil dropped US$1.77 or 2.8% to US$62.03 a barrel while US crude futures declined
US$1.64 or 2.8% to US$58.
Reuters reported that U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, hit by nervousness ahead of Friday's jobs report and lingering uncertainty over a Greece aid deal with creditors. Declining oil and gold prices also weighed on energy and materials shares, which led declines in the benchmark S&P 500.
Data showed the labor market tightening, with first-time applications for unemployment aid down last week and the number of people on benefit rolls hitting the lowest level since 2000, suggesting the Federal Reserve will remain on track to raise interest rates later this year.
Crude prices tumbled almost 3% for a second day on Thursday ahead of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' decision, which might keep the market oversupplied.