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Malaysia Bourse May Extend Winning Streak

The Malaysia stock market has ticked higher in consecutive trading days, collecting more than a dozen points or 0.6 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just shy of the 1,835-point plateau and it's expected to open in the green again on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat, with continued bargain hunting after recent weakness likely to provide mild support. The European markets were down and the U.S. markets were up and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KLCI finished slightly higher on Tuesday following gains from the financials and mixed performances from the industrials and plantations.

For the day, the index added 2.85 points or 0.16 percent to finish at 1,833.02 after trading between 1,830.28 and 1,835.17. Volume was 1.62 billion shares worth 2.44 billion ringgit. There were 495 gainers and 409 decliners.

Among the actives, IJM Corporation surged 7.06 percent, while Westports Holdings plummeted 2.70 percent, YTL Corporation tumbled 2.10 percent, Telekom Malaysia skidded 0.98 percent, MISC dropped 0.70 percent, Genting jumped 0.68 percent, Axiata gathered 0.54 percent, IOI Corporation advanced 0.43 percent, Maybank collected 0.40 percent, Public Bank perked 0.36 percent, Digi.com shed 0.21 percent, Genting Malaysia added 0.19 percent, Tenaga Nasional lost 0.13 percent and IHH Healthcare, CIMB Group, Sime Darby and Petronas Chemicals all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks shrugged off a lower open to tick slightly higher on Tuesday, extending the upward move in the two previous sessions.

The Dow added 39.18 points or 0.16 percent to 24,640.45, while the NASDAQ advanced 31.55 points or 0.45 percent to 7,013.51 and the S&P rose 6.94 points or 0.26 percent to 2,662.94.

The rebound came as traders looked ahead to reports on consumer prices and retail sales on Wednesday. The data may have a significant impact on how the Federal Reserve will act regarding future interest rate hikes.

Crude oil futures were steady Tuesday, but unable to recoup recent losses. Analysts point to a surge in U.S. shale oil production as the cause of oil's retreat from 4-year highs above $66. WTI light sweet oil for March was down 0.2 percent at $59.19/bbl.

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