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Malaysia Shares May Add To Monday's Gains

The Malaysia stock market moved higher again on Monday, one session after it had halted the six-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 50 points or 2.7 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,880-point plateau and it may see additional support on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is cautiously optimistic as easing geopolitical concerns were offset by sliding oil prices. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were higher, and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Monday following gains from the financials, industrials and telecoms.

For the day, the index picked up 10.29 points or 0.55 percent to finish at the daily high of 1,878.76 after moving as low as 1,867.21. Volume was 2.67 billion shares worth 2.06 billion ringgit. There were 518 decliners and 409 gainers.

Among the actives, Genting Malaysia surged 4.33 percent, while Telekom Malaysia soared 3.87 percent, Digi.com spiked 1.34 percent, YTL Corporation jumped 0.69 percent, Petronas Chemicals climbed 0.60 percent, Maybank and MISC both advanced 0.57 percent, Genting dipped 0.56 percent, CIMB Group collected 0.42 percent, Tenaga Nasional added 0.38 percent, IHH Healthcare fell 0.33 percent and IOI Corporation, AMMB Holdings and Sime Darby were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks moved higher on Monday, reacting to positive earnings and economic news while extending last week's gains.

The Dow added 212.90 points or 0.87 percent to 24,573.04, while the NASDAQ gained 49.63 points or 0.70 percent to 7,156.28 and the S&P climbed 21.54 points or 0.81 percent to 2,677.84.

The strength reflected a positive reaction to earnings news from financial giant Bank of America (BAC), which beat Q1 forecasts.

In economic news, the Commerce Department noted stronger than expected retail sales growth in March. Also, the National Association of Home Builders saw a modest drop in homebuilder confidence in April.

Stocks remained positive in the afternoon after President Donald Trump said he intends to nominate Richard Clarida as Federal Reserve Vice Chairman.

Crude oil prices fell Monday after data showed the shale sector is expected to rise by 125,000 barrels a day in May. June WTI oil settled at $66.22/bbl on Nymex, down $1.17 or 1.7 percent. Prices tumbled from last week's three-year peak.

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