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Malaysia Bourse May Flirt With 1,800-Point Mark

The Malaysia stock market bounced higher again on Thursday - one session after it had snapped the two-day winning streak in which it had added just 4 points or 0.1 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,790-point plateau and it has another positive lead for Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside with optimism over trade tempered by falling oil prices. The European markets were mixed and flat and the U.S. bourses were up - and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

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

For the day, the index added 7.35 points or 0.41 percent to finish at 1,792.60 after trading between 1,777.45 and 1,792.96. Volume was 2.4 billion shares worth 2.6 billion ringgit. There were 478 gainers and 405 decliners.

Among the actives, CIMB Group surged 3.22 percent, while Malaysia Airports Holdings surged 2.80 percent, Axiata Group soared 2.71 percent, Telekom Malaysia spiked 2.31 percent, IHH Healthcare plunged 1.87 percent, Genting Malaysia jumped 1.44 percent, Dialog Group tumbled 0.86 percent, Maybank collected 0.82 percent, Genting climbed 0.75 percent, Sime Darby skidded 0.39 percent, Tenaga Nasional lost 0.13 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong added 0.08 percent and Petronas Chemicals, Petronas Dagangan, Public Bank and Hong Leong Bank were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is firm as stocks moved mostly higher on Thursday, with the major averages all finishing in positive territory after ending Wednesday's session mixed.

The Dow added 147.07 points or 0.57 percent to 26,145.99, while the NASDAQ gained 59.48 points or 0.75 percent to 8,013.71 and the S&P was up 15.26 points or 0.53 percent to 2,904.18.

The strength on Wall Street reflected optimism about trade following recent reports the U.S. is proposing a new round of trade talks with China in the near future.

In economic news, the Labor Department said consumer prices rose less than expected in August. The Labor Department also noted a slight drop in initial jobless claims in the week ended September 8.

Crude oil prices tumbled Thursday following reports that global oil supply reached a record high in August. Crude oil futures for October ended down $1.78 or 2.5 percent at $68.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Closer to home, Malaysia will release unemployment data for July later today; in June, the jobless rate was 3.4 percent and the participation rate was 68.5 percent.

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