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Malaysia Stock Market May Snap Losing Streak

The Malaysia stock market has finished lower in back-to-back sessions, slipping more than 7 points or 0.4 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,715-point plateau although it may find traction on Tuesday.

The global forecast is mixed, with technology and oil stocks expected to cap gains from the broader markets. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were mixed, and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The KLCI finished modestly lower on Monday following mixed performances from the financial shares and industrial issues.

For the day, the index sank 4.73 points or 0.28 percent to finish at 1,713.13 after trading between 1,709.17 and 1,717.99. Volume was 1.8 billion shares worth 2.6 billion ringgit. There were 659 decliners and 286 gainers.

Among the actives, IJM Corporation plummeted 6.15 percent, while Sime Darby surged 5.50 percent, Genting Malaysia tumbled 1.77 percent, Genting spiked 1.70 percent, CIMB Group skidded 1.65 percent, Hong Leong Bank collected 1.06 percent, YTL Corporation shed 0.85 percent, Tenaga Nasional jumped 0.78 percent, IHH Healthcare lost 0.53 percent, Petronas Chemicals added 0.41 percent and IOI Corporation, Kuala Lumpur Kepong and Maybank were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is murky as stocks turned mixed Monday after an initial move to the upside. The Dow reached a new record closing high, but the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 ended in the red.

The Dow rose 58.46 points or 0.24 percent to 24,290.05, but the NASDAQ tumbled 72.22 points or 1.05 percent to 6,775.37 and the S&P 500 edged down 2.78 points or 0.11 percent to 2,639.44.

Traders reacted to news that Senate Republicans narrowly approved a massive tax reform bill early Saturday morning. The Senate voted 51 to 49 in favor of the bill known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, with the vote coming down along party lines.

The pullback by the NASDAQ partly reflected concerns that technology companies will not benefit as much from the tax cuts.

In economic news, the Commerce Department released a report showing a modest decrease in new orders for manufactured goods in October.

Crude oil futures fell Monday for the first time in three sessions as a strong dollar dented commodity prices. January WTI oil was down 89 cents or 1.5 percent to settle at $57.47/bbl.

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