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Rebound Expected For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market turned lower again on Thursday, one session after it had ended the five-day slide in which it had skidded more than 40 points or 2.5 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,600-point plateau although it figures to bounce higher again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on solid earnings news and rising crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian markets are tipped to follow that lead.

The KLCI finished modestly lower on Thursday following losses from the financial shares, plantation stocks and industrial issues.

For the day, the index lost 12.24 points or 0.76 percent to finish at the daily low of 1,599.19 after peaking at 1,610.78. Volume was 2.0 billion shares worth 1.7 billion ringgit. There were 520 decliners and 260 gainers.

Among the actives, Malaysia Airports Holdings plummeted 3.93 percent, while Hartalega Holdings plunged 3.04 percent, Dialog Group tumbled 1.83 percent, IOI Corporation skidded 1.64 percent, Top Glove retreated 1.41 percent, Tenaga Nasional declined 1.19 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong dropped 1.15 percent, Genting and Sime Darby Plantations both sank 1.07 percent, Digi.com shed 1.06 percent, Public Bank lost 0.98 percent, Maybank fell 0.55 percent, IHH Healthcare slid 0.54 percent, Axiata dipped 0.45 percent, Petronas Chemicals was down 0.11 percent and Genting Malaysia, CIMB Group, Dime Darby, PPB Group, Petronas Gas and Hong Leong Financial Group all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street remains positive as stocks moved mostly higher on Thursday, extending recent gains and offsetting Monday's steep drop.

The Dow added 214.66 points or 0.84 percent to 25,862.68, while the NASDAQ gained 75.90 points or 0.97 percent to 7,898.05 and the S&P 500 rose 25.36 points or 0.89 percent to 2,876.32.

The strength on Wall Street reflected solid earnings news from companies like Walmart (WMT) and networking giant Cisco Systems (CSCO), who both beat the street.

In economic news, the Labor Department said initial jobless claims dropped more than expected last week, while the Commerce Department noted a substantial increase in new residential construction in April.

Crude oil prices climbed to a two-week high on Thursday, extending recent gains amid concerns about supply disruptions due to an escalation in tensions in the Middle East. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended up $0.85 or 1.4 percent at $62.87 a barrel.

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