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Malaysia Stock Market May Test Support At 1,700 Points

The Malaysia stock market moved higher again on Friday, one day after it had ended the three-day winning streak in which it had gathered more than 25 points or 1.5 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,715-point plateau although it's likely to head south again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft, with technology stocks expected to weigh amid profit taking and concerns over the outlook for interest rates. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Friday as gains from the plantations and telecoms were tempered by weakness from the financial shares.

For the day, the index picked up 6.95 points or 0.41 percent to finish at 1,713.87 after trading between 1,705.31 and 1,720.13. Volume was 3.1 billion shares worth 2.5 billion ringgit. There were 744 gainers and 204 decliners.

Among the actives, Sime Darby surged 5.26 percent, while Genting plummeted 2.70 percent, IOI Corporation soared 1.34 percent, Petronas Chemicals spiked 1.28 percent, Digi.com jumped 1.18 percent, Tenaga Nasional climbed 0.96 percent, IHH Healthcare skidded 0.80 percent, Dialog Group advanced 0.60 percent, Telekom Malaysia gathered 0.42 percent, CIMB Group fell 0.35 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong slid 0.32 percent, Axiata lost 0.29 percent, Genting Malaysia added 0.22 percent and Maybank was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks shrugged off a positive open, moving lower as the day progressed and ending in the red.

The Dow fell 109.91 points or 0.43 percent to 25,270.83, while the NASDAQ slumped 77.06 points or 1.04 percent to 7,356.99 and the S&P slid 17.31 points or 0.63 percent to 2,723.06. For the week, the NASDAQ surged 2.6 percent, and the Dow and the S&P both jumped 2.4 percent.

The downturn on Wall Street was led by Apple (AAPL) after the company reported fiscal fourth quarter earnings and revenues that exceeded estimates but weaker than expected iPhone shipments, with disappointing guidance.

The pullback also came as traders digested the Labor Department report showing stronger than expected job growth in October. The upbeat jobs data paints of positive picture for the U.S. economy but also led to renewed concerns about the outlook for interest rates.

Crude oil prices moved lower Friday, extending losses as President Donald Trump announced plans to reimpose sanctions on Iran. The price of crude oil for December delivery fell $0.55 to $63.14 a barrel.

Closer to home, Malaysia will release September numbers for imports, exports and trade balance later today. In August, imports were worth 80.2 billion ringgit and exports were at 81.8 billion ringgit for a trade surplus of 1.6 billion ringgit.

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