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Malaysia Bourse Likely Rangebound On Monday

The Malaysia stock market has moved lower in two straight sessions, dipping more than 8 points or 0.4 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,730-point plateau and it may be stuck in neutral again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat, with support from oil prices offsetting weakness among the technology stocks. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed - and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The KLCI finished modestly lower on Friday following losses from the financials, plantations and industrials.

For the day, the index slid 5.87 points or 0.34 percent to finish at 1,732.14 after trading between 1,718.13 and 1,733.71. Volume was 2.3 billion shares worth 2.2 billion ringgit. There were 579 decliners and 252 gainers.

Among the actives, Axiata plummeted 4.63 percent, while Telekom Malaysia plunged 3.60 percent, Sime Darby tumbled 2.72 percent, Digi.com skidded 2.71 percent, IHH Healthcare dropped 2.17 percent, Genting advanced 1.78 percent, IOI Corporation retreated 1.09 percent, Genting Malaysia declined 0.44 percent, Petronas Chemicals shed 0.42 percent, Dialog Group lost 0.29 percent, CIMB Group fell 0.17 percent, Tenaga Nasional slid 0.14 percent, Public Bank eased 0.08 percent and Hong Leong Bank, Maybank, Hartalega Holdings, Petronas Dagangan and Hong Leong Financial all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is uninspired as stocks failed to sustain an early move to the upside on Friday, eventually ending mixed.

The Dow added 64.89 points or 0.26 percent to 25,444.34, while the NASDAQ shed 36.11 points or 0.48 percent to 7,449.03 and the S&P fell 1.00 point or 0.04 percent to 2,767.78. For the week, the NASDAQ fell 0.6 percent, while the Dow rose 0.4 percent and the S&P 500 was nearly flat.

Early buying interest was generated by China when the heads of the People's Bank of China, the Securities Regulatory Commission and the Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission all issued statements of support for the markets following disappointing data and heavy selling.

A positive reaction to upbeat earnings news from big-name companies such as Procter & Gamble (PG), American Express (AXP) and Honeywell (HON) also contributed to the early strength.

Traders were reluctant to make more significant moves, however, as concerns about rising interest rates and tension between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia continued to weigh on the markets.

Crude oil futures ended higher on Friday with investors weighing the possible impact of U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil exports on crude supply in the market. Crude oil futures for November ended up $0.47 or 0.7 percent at $69.12 a barrel. For the week, oil futures tumbled 3.1 percent.

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