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Malaysia Bourse May Extend Wednesday's Gains

The Malaysia stock market bounced higher again on Wednesday, one session after it had ended the two-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 20 points or 1.2 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just shy of the 1,860-point plateau and it may find additional support on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside, thanks to a bump in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses figure to follow suit.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Wednesday following gains from the industrials and financials and mixed performances from the telecoms.

For the day, the index collected 10.06 points or 0.54 percent to finish at 1,858.26 after trading between 1,841.83 and 1,862.35. Volume was 3.002 billion shares worth 2.911 billion ringgit. There were 492 gainers and 486 decliners.

Among the actives, British American Tobacco skyrocketed 10.74 percent, while YTL Corporation plummeted 3.70 percent, Astro Malaysia Holdings plunged 2.34 percent, Public Bank surged 2.08 percent, IHH Healthcare soared 1.83 percent, CIMB Group spiked 1.48 percent, Genting Malaysia tumbled 1.19 percent, Telekom Malaysia skidded 1.01 percent, Digi.com jumped 0.64 percent, Maybank collected 0.56 percent, RHB Capital dropped 0.55 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong shed 0.39 percent, Sime Darby lost 0.36 percent, Petronas Chemicals added 0.23 percent and IOI Corporation and Tenaga Nasional were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks fluctuated on Wednesday but finished mostly higher - offsetting somewhat the sharp pullback in the previous session.

The Dow rose 62.52 points or 0.25 percent to 24,768.93, the NASDAQ advanced 46.67 points or 0.63 percent to 7,398.30 and the S&P 500 climbed 11.01 points or 0.41 percent to 2,722.46.

Buying interest was subdued, with geopolitical uncertainty keeping some traders on the sidelines after North Korea threatened to cancel an historic meeting between leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.

In economic news, the Commerce Department reported a sharp pullback in new residential construction in April, while building permits also tumbled. Also, the Federal Reserve said industrial production increased more than expected in April.

Crude oil futures nudged higher Wednesday amid a large decrease in U.S. oil stockpiles. June WTI oil inch up by 18 cents, or nearly 0.3 percent, to settle at $71.49/bbl.

Closer to home, Malaysia will provide Q1 figures for GDP and current account later today. In the previous three months, GDP was up 0.9 percent on quarter and 5.9 percent on year, while the current account surplus was 12.9 billion ringgit.

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