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Malaysia Stock Market May Extend Friday's Gains

The Malaysia stock market on Friday halted the three-day slide in which it had surrendered almost 20 points or 1.2 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,630-point plateau and it may add to its winnings on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat after earnings season kicked off with better than expected numbers. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses figure to follow suit.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Friday following gains from the financials, plantations and telecoms.

For the day, the index added 5.94 points or 0.37 percent to finish at 1,630.17 after trading between 1,623.44 and 1,631.09. Volume was 3.3 billion shares worth 2.1 billion ringgit. There were 411 decliners and 399 gainers.

Among the actives, Malaysia Airports Holdings surged 3.18 percent, while Tenaga Nasional soared 1.82 percent, Axiata spiked 1.47 percent, Petronas Chemicals tumbled 1.34 percent, RHB Capital jumped 1.23 percent, Sime Darby Plantations climbed 0.99 percent, IHH Healthcare advanced 0.90 percent, IOI Corporation gathered 0.89 percent, Digi.com perked 0.64 percent, Genting Malaysia dropped 0.64 percent, Dialog Group sank 0.63 percent, Genting added 0.30 percent, Maybank collected 0.11 percent, Public Bank eased 0.09 percent and Hong Leong Bank, Kuala Lumpur Kepong, CIMB Group and Top Glove all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks opened higher on Friday and remained in the green throughout the session.

The Dow jumped 269.25 points or 1.03 percent to 26,412.30, while the NASDAQ added 36.80 points or 0.46 percent to 7,984.16 and the S&P 500 rose 19.09 points or 0.66 percent to 2,907.41. For the week, the Dow fell 0.1 percent, while the NASDAQ added 0.6 percent and the S&P 500 rose 0.5 percent.

The early strength on Wall Street followed quarterly results from JPMorgan Chase (JPM), which posted record Q1 earnings and revenues that beat the street - although some apprehension remains ahead of more earnings news this week.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted a bigger than expected increase in import prices in March, while the University of Michigan said that consumer sentiment deteriorated more than expected in April.

Crude oil futures ended higher on Friday with escalating unrest in Libya, the U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela and OPEC-led output cuts tightening crude supply in the global market. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended up $0.31 or 0.5 percent at $63.89 a barrel.

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