Ahead of the long weekend for the Lunar New Year, the Malaysia stock market had ticked higher in two straight sessions, gathering almost 5 points or 0.3 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,500-point plateau and it's tipped to open in the green on Wednesday as it catches up on missed positive sentiment.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky, with profit taking likely after recent gains - especially among the oil and technology companies. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and little changed and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow suit.
The KLCI finished slightly higher on Friday following gains from the plantations and telecoms.
For the day, the index perked 4.11 points or 0.27 percent to finish at the daily high of 1,500.33 after moving as low as 1,495.80.
Among the actives, Axiata jumped 1.31 percent, while CIMB Group rallied 1.41 percent, Dialog Group sank 0.78 percent, Digi.com shed 0.71 percent, IHH Healthcare slid 0.33 percent, INARI soared 2.68 percent, IOI Corporation advanced 0.52 percent, Maxis surged 3.02 percent, MISC added 0.27 percent, Press Metal eased 0.19 percent, Sime Darby fell 0.42 percent, Sime Darby Plantations spiked 2.06 percent, Tenaga Nasional lost 0.53 percent and Petronas Chemicals, Petronas Gas, Genting, Genting Malaysia, MRDIY, PPB Group, Public Bank, RHB Capital, Kuala Lumpur Kepong, Maybank, Telekom Malaysia and AMMB Holdings were unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as the major averages opened lower on Tuesday, rebounded somewhat and ended the day mixed and little changed.
The Dow gained 104.40 points or 0.31 percent to finish at 33,733.96, while the NASDAQ sank 30.14 points or 0.27 percent to end at 11,334.27 and the S&P 500 eased 2.86 points or 0.07 percent to close at 4,016.95.
The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders expressed some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following recent volatility.
Uncertainty about the outlook for interest rates and the economy may also have kept some traders on the sidelines ahead of the release of some key economic data in the coming days.
A negative reaction to some of the latest earnings news contributed to an early pullback, with 3M (MMM) posting a steep loss after reporting weaker than expected fourth quarter earnings and providing disappointing guidance.
Crude oil prices fell sharply Tuesday on concerns about the outlook for demand due to a potential recession in Europe and the U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for March ended lower by $1.49 or 1.8 percent at $80.13 a barrel.