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Malaysia Stock Market May Halt Losing Streak

The Malaysia stock market has finished lower in five straight sessions, sliding more than 40 points or 2.5 percent along the way. Now at a fresh three and a half year low, the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index sits just beneath the 1,600-point plateau although it may stop the bleeding on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive on bargain hunting, rising crude oil prices and optimism that the United States and China will reach a trade agreement. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses are tipped to open in similar fashion.

After opening sharply lower, the KLCI finished slightly lower on Tuesday as losses from the plantations and industrials were tempered by support from the financials and telecoms.

For the day, the index eased 1.90 points or 0.12 percent to finish at 1,599.19 after trading between 1,572.03 and 1,603.72. Volume was 2.8 billion shares worth 2.5 billion ringgit. There were 488 decliners and 386 gainers.

Among the actives, Sime Darby Plantations plummeted 4.68 percent, while Hartalega Holdings surged 3.31 percent, Top Glove soared 2.36 percent, AMMB Holdings plunged 1.82 percent, Genting Malaysia tumbled 0.97 percent, Genting skidded 0.91 percent, Digi.com jumped 0.88 percent, CIMB Group collected 0.78 percent, Public Bank climbed 0.63 percent, PPB Group sank 0.54 percent, Tenaga Nasional advanced 0.51 percent, IOI Corporation shed 0.47 percent, Sime Darby added 0.46 percent, Petronas Chemicals lost 0.34 percent, Dialog Group fell 0.32 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong slid 0.25 percent, IHH Healthcare rose 0.18 percent and Axiata Group was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is firm as stocks opened higher on Tuesday and remained in the green throughout the session, offsetting the losses from the previous day.

The Dow added 207.06 points or 0.82 percent to end at 25,532.05, while the NASDAQ jumped 87.47 points or 1.14 percent to 7,734.49 and the S&P 500 rose 22.54 points or 0.80 percent to 2,834.41.

Bargain hunting has contributed to the rebound on Wall Street, with traders picking up stocks at reduced levels following Monday's sell-off.

The markets are also benefiting from optimism the U.S. and China will eventually reach a trade deal despite the retaliatory tariffs announced by China.

President Donald Trump has continued to express confidence the Chinese will yield to U.S. demands, repeatedly arguing that the U.S. is in a stronger position than China in the negotiations.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Tuesday amid supply concerns and slightly easing worries about energy demand after the U.S. and China struck a conciliatory tone on trade talks. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended up $0.74 or 1.2 percent at $61.78 a barrel.

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