KUALA LUMPUR (April 24): Malaysian stocks will take the cue from crucial global economic data from Europe and the US as investors assess external factors against domestic pre-election sentiment.
European highlights include the sale of government bonds in Spain and the Netherlands, while across the Atlantic the spotlight will be on indications of more quantitative easing (QE) by US policymakers to sustain the world's largest economy.
Analysts said signs of a further QE may spur global equities while an opposite indication could result in profit taking. In the US, the S&P 500 futures added 3.75 points to 1,366.5, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 30 points to 12,901.
In Malaysia, the FBM KLCI fell 1.52 points to close at 1582.28 points on Tuesday.
Stocks to watch on Wednesday are Top Glove Corp Bhd, Selangor PROPERTIES  Bhd (SelProp), MALAYSIAN AIRLINE SYSTEM BHD  (MAS), GLOBETRONICS TECHNOLOGY  BHD , and KECK SENG (M) BHD .
Maybank Investment Bank Bhd has raised its earnings per share (EPS) forecast for Top Glove by 8% to 12% for financial years (FY) ending Aug 31, 2012 to 2014 after taking into account lower prices of natural rubber. Maybank IN, which revised upwards its fair value for Top Glove shares by 29% to RM5.40 from RM4.20, also upgraded the stock to a "buy" from "sell".
SelProp shares will trade ex-dividend on Wednesday. Shareholders have approved the company's plan to pay a first and final dividend of 10%, less 25% tax for the financial year ending Oct 31, 2011.
MAS gained as much as 3.3% or four sen to RM1.27 in intraday trade, against a backdrop of declining crude oil prices. Commodity prices fell on concerns that European sovereign debt woes will curb demand.
Globetronics's first quarter (1Q) net profit declined 4% from a year earlier, as the electronics component manufacturer registered lower revenue and higher operating cost. In a statement to the bourse, Globetronics said net profit came to RM6.2 million in the quarter to March 31, 2012, against RM6.43 million previously. Revenue fell 15% to RM56.79 million from RM67.09 million, as the company registered less turnover from China and Singapore, it said.
Keck Seng — which undertakes oil palm cultivation, besides real estate and hospitality operations — said it plans to reward shareholders with a final dividend of 6%, less 25% tax for financial year ended Dec 31, 2011. The proposed dividend requires shareholders' consent at the firm's coming annual general meeting.