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Rally May Stall For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market has tracked higher in back-to-back sessions, collecting more than a dozen points or 0.7 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,720-point plateau although it may run out of steam on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild downside after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and flat and the Asian markets figure to follow suit.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Thursday following gains from the financial shares and telecoms.

For the day, the index added 6.54 points or 0.38 percent to finish at 1,721.42 after trading between 1,718.47 and 1,726.10. Volume was 2.3 billion shares worth 2.3 billion ringgit. There were 475 gainers and 357 decliners.

Among the actives, Maxis surged 2.04 percent, while Digi.com soared 1.35 percent, Genting Malaysia plunged 1.10 percent, Tenaga Nasional and Press Metal both spiked 0.81 percent, Axiata jumped 0.56 percent, Maybank collected 0.43 percent, Public Bank climbed 0.41 percent, Genting advanced 0.30 percent, Dialog Group and Hong Leong Bank both added 0.29 percent, IHH Healthcare shed 0.20 percent, CIMB Group gained 0.18 percent and IOI Corporation, Telekom Malaysia, Sime Darby, Petronas Gas, Hong Leong Financial and Petronas Chemicals all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Thursday before finishing mixed and little changed.

The Dow added 10.92 points or 0.04 percent to 26,191.22, while the NASDAQ lost 39.87 points or 0.53 percent to 7,530.88 and the S&P 500 fell 7.06 points or 0.25 percent to end at 2,806.83.

The mixed performance on Wall Street came after the Federal Reserve announced its widely anticipated decision to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2 to 2.25 percent.

The Fed's accompanying statement noted a slowdown in the pace of growth in business investment, but the central bank reiterated further gradual increases in interest rates remain appropriate.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted a slight decrease in initial jobless claims in the week ended November 3.

Crude oil futures drifted lower on Thursday, extending losses to a ninth straight session on concerns over rising inventories and economic uncertainty. Crude oil futures for December ended down $1.00 or 1.6 percent at $60.67 a barrel, the lowest settlement price in about eight months.

Closer to home, Malaysia will see September numbers for unemployment, industrial production and manufacturing production later today. In August, the jobless rate was 3.4 percent, while industrial production added 2.2 percent and manufacturing production climbed 4.3 percent.

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