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Malaysia Bourse Tipped To Snap Losing Streak

The Malaysia stock market has finished lower in two straight sessions, although it has eased just a little more than 3 points in that span. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,685-point plateau although it may find traction on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets remains upbeat on optimism that another U.S. government shutdown can be avoided. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses are predicted to open in similar fashion.

The KLCI finished slightly lower on Wednesday as losses from the financials and plantations were mitigated by support from the industrial issues.

For the day, the index dipped 2.11 points or 0.13 percent to finish at 1,685.30 after trading between 1,683.61 and 1,688.46. Volume was 26.32 million shares worth 1.87 billion ringgit. There were 468 gainers and 340 decliners.

Among the actives, Press Metal surged 2.24 percent, while IHH Healthcare soared 1.83 percent, Sime Darby plummeted 1.82 percent, IOI Corporation plunged 1.73 percent, Axiata tumbled 1.27 percent, RHB Capital spiked 0.90 percent, Petronas Chemicals jumped 0.83 percent, CIMB Group skidded 0.69 percent, Digi.com and PPB Group both dropped 0.44 percent, Tenaga Nasional shed 0.31 percent, Genting Malaysia lost 0.30 percent, Genting fell 0.28 percent, Hartalega Holdings dipped 0.18 percent, Maybank eased 0.10 percent and AMMB Holdings, Hap Seng Consolidated, Public Bank, Top Glove, Dialog Group and Petronas Dagangan all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks saw considerable volatility on Wednesday but still finished in the green as the major averages hit fresh two-month closing highs.

The Dow added 117.51 points or 0.46 percent to 25,543.27, while the NASDAQ gained 5.76 points or 0.08 percent to 7,420.38 and the S&P 500 rose 8.30 points or 0.30 percent to 2,753.03.

The higher close on Wall Street partly reflected optimism about avoiding another government shutdown thanks to a tentative deal reached by lawmakers.

The markets also benefited from continued optimism about U.S.-China trade talks after reports the U.S. may delay raising tariffs on Chinese goods if the two sides are close to a deal.

In economic news, the Labor Department said consumer prices were unchanged for the third straight month in January.

Crude oil extended gains Wednesday, reflecting optimism about U.S.-China trade talks and the cut in production revealed by Saudi Arabia. Crude for March delivery advanced $0.80 to $53.90 a barrel.

Closer to home, Malaysia will release Q4 numbers for GDP and current account later today. In the three months prior, GDP was up 1.6 percent on quarter and 4.4 percent on year, while the current account surplus was 3.8 billion ringgit.

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