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Malaysia Stock Market May Spin Its Wheels On Wednesday

The Malaysia stock market on Tuesday ended the two-day winning streak in which it had gathered more than 15 points or 1 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,690-point plateau and it's expected to see little movement again on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests little movement ahead of the FOMC interest rate decision later today. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were mixed and flat - and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The KLCI finished slightly lower on Tuesday following losses from the financial shares and plantation stocks.

For the day, the index dipped 3.26 points or 0.19 percent to finish at the daily low of 1,687.68 after peaking at 1,694.89. Volume was 2.8 billion shares worth 1.7 billion ringgit. There were 622 decliners and 241 gainers.

Among the actives, Hartalega Holdings plummeted 1.66 percent, while Genting plunged 1.42 percent, Axiata Group tumbled 1.41 percent, Tenaga Nasional spiked 1.07 percent, IOI Corporation skidded 0.87 percent, Sime Darby retreated 0.46 percent, MISC and Top Glove both declined 0.44 percent, Digi.com dropped 0.43 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong shed 0.40 percent, Genting Malaysia advanced 0.29 percent, AMMB Holdings added 0.22 percent, Sime Darby Plantation lost 0.20 percent, CIMB Group fell 0.18 percent, RHB Capital and IHH Healthcare both sank 0.17 percent, Maybank and PPB Group both were down 0.11 percent and Hong Leong Bank, Malaysia Airports Holdings, Public Bank and Petronas Chemicals all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little guidance as the major averages shook off an early spike Tuesday and finished roughly flat.

The Dow shed 26.72 points or 0.10 percent to finish at 25,887.38, while the NASDAQ added 9.47 points or 0.12 percent to 7,723.95 and the S&P 500 fell 0.37 points or 0.01 percent to 2,832.57.

The early strength on Wall Street partly reflected continued optimism about U.S.-China trade talks, although that ebbed on reports that China is pushing back against American demands.

Traders were also reluctant to make big moves ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision later today. The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, although the accompanying statement may provide clues about the outlook for rates.

Crude oil futures settled marginally lower on Tuesday, as traders weighed the supply and demand situation in the market. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.06 or 0.1 percent at $59.03 a barrel.

Closer to home, Malaysia will provide February data for consumer prices later today; in January, inflation fell 0.5 percent on month and 0.7 percent on year.

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