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Rally May Stall For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market has moved higher in back-to-back trading days, advancing more than 7 points or 0.4 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index remains just above the 1,630-point plateau although it may run out of steam on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild consolidation on weak earnings news and falling crude oil prices. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were slightly lower and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The KLCI finished barely higher on Monday as gains from the plantations were capped by weakness from the financials and a mixed picture from the industrials.

For the day, the index added 1.16 points or 0.07 percent to finish at 1,631.33 after trading between 1,630.83 and 1,638.87. Volume was 3.1 billion shares worth 1.7 billion ringgit. There were 595 decliners and 311 gainers.

Among the actives, Sime Darby surged 1.83 percent, while Genting Malaysia plummeted 1.29 percent, Malaysia Airports Holdings soared 1.17 percent, Hartalega Holdings plunged 1.06 percent, Petronas Chemicals spiked 0.68 percent, AMMB Holdings jumped 0.45 percent, Top Glove tumbled 0.44 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong climbed 0.40 percent, IHH Healthcare skidded 0.36 percent, Tenaga Nasional advanced 0.33 percent, Axiata added 0.24 percent, IOI Corporation gained 0.22 percent, Maybank shed 0.22 percent, Genting fell 0.15 percent, Public Bank eased 0.09 percent and Digi.com. CIMB Group, RHB Capital, Dialog Group, Petronas Gas and Sime Darby Plantations all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened lower on Monday; they made back ground as the day progressed but still finished slightly in the red.

The Dow shed 27.53 points or 0.10 percent to finish at 26,384.77, while the NASDAQ lost 8.15 points or 0.10 percent to 7,976.01 and the S&P 500 fell 1.83 points or 0.06 percent to end at 2,905.58.

The weakness on Wall Street reflected a negative reaction to earnings news from Goldman Sachs (GS) and Citigroup (C), while traders were reluctant to make significant moves ahead of more quarterly results in the coming days.

In economic news, the New York Federal Reserve reported that growth in regional manufacturing activity picked up somewhat in April but remained fairly subdued.

Crude oil futures edged lower on Monday on reports Russia and OPEC might increase production to boost their market share. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for May ended down $0.49 or 0.8 percent at $63.40 a barrel.

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