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Malaysia Bourse May Find Traction On Tuesday

The Malaysia stock market has moved lower in two straight sessions, sliding more than 20 points or 1.2 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,665-point plateau and it may stop the bleeding on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is firm thanks to solid economic data, rising oil prices and expected bargain hunting. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow that lead.

The KLCI finished modestly lower on Monday following losses from the financial shares, telecoms and industrials.

For the day, the index lost 15.27 points or 0.91 percent to finish at the daily low of 1,664.63 after peaking at 1,680.18. Volume was 2.5 billion shares worth 2.3 billion ringgit. There were 638 decliners and 266 gainers.

Among the actives, Hartalega Holdings plummeted 4.81 percent, while Top Glove plunged 3.05 percent, CIMB Group tumbled 2.04 percent, Axiata skidded 1.92 percent, Sime Darby retreated 1.38 percent, Public Bank declined 1.22 percent, Digi.com shed 1.10 percent, Genting lost 0.99 percent, AMMB Holdings and MISC both sank 0.89 percent, Tenaga Nasional and Maybank both fell 0.63 percent, Petronas Chemicals slid 0.54 percent, RHB Capital advanced 0.36 percent, IHH Healthcare was down 0.34 percent and IOI Corporation, Kuala Lumpur Kepong, Maxis and Petronas Gas all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is broadly positive thanks to bargain hunting after a rough couple of sessions. The major averages opened in the green on Monday and stayed there throughout the session.

The Dow added 200.64 points or 0.79 percent to 25,650.88, while the NASDAQ spiked 149.92 points or 2.02 percent to 7,558.06 and the S&P 500 jumped 40.23 points or 1.47 percent to 2,783.30.

The rally on Wall Street came following a report from the Commerce Department showing an unexpected uptick in U.S. retail sales in January. The Commerce Department also noted business inventories increased as expected in December.

But the upside for the Dow was limited by a big drop in shares of Boeing, with the aerospace giant slumping 5.3 percent. Boeing came under pressure following the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which was the second crash in five months involving the company's 737 Max 8 model.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Monday, lifted by reports that Saudi Arabia will extend output cuts. West Texas Intermediate Crude futures for April ended up $0.72 or 1.3 percent at $56.79 a barrel.

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