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Malaysia Bourse May Extend Its Gains

The Malaysia stock market bounced higher again on Friday, one session after it had ended the six-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 55 points or 3.4 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,650-point plateau and it may add to its winnings on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive on an improved outlook for interest rates and a surge in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were up on Friday and the Asian markets are tipped to follow that lead.

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

For the day, the index gained 5.24 points or 0.32 percent to finish at 1,649.33 after trading between 1,646.80 and 1,651.99. Volume was 1.6 billion shares worth 1.5 billion ringgit. There were 490 gainers and 303 decliners.

Among the actives, Sime Darby plummeted 2.60 percent, while Maxis surged 2.21 percent, Axiata Group soared 2.19 percent, IOI Corporation spiked 1.65 percent, AMMB Holdings jumped 1.60 percent, IHH Healthcare climbed 1.47 percent, Petronas Chemicals perked 1.45 percent, RHB Capital skidded 1.37 percent, Dialog Group dropped 1.20 percent, Top Glove gathered 1.20 percent, Digi.com advanced 0.84 percent, CIMB Group sank 0.75 percent, Genting Malaysia shed 0.32 percent, Tenaga Nasional lost 0.31 percent, Maybank collected 0.22 percent, Genting added 0.18 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong rose 0.08 percent and Hong Leong Bank, Public Bank and Sime Darby Plantations were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is solid as stocks extended recent gains, moving sharply higher on Friday.

The Dow climbed 263.28 points or 1.02 percent, while the NASDAQ spiked 126.55 points or 1.66 percent to 7,742.10 and the S&P 500 rose 29.85 points or 1.05 percent to 2,873.34. For the week, the Dow surged 4.7 percent, the NASDAQ jumped 3.9 percent and the S&P was up 4.4 percent.

The continued strength on Wall Street reflected optimism that disappointing U.S. jobs data could spur the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates in the near future. The Labor Department's closely watched monthly jobs report showed a substantial slowdown in the pace of U.S. job growth in May.

Stocks remained firmly positive after President Donald Trump said there is a good chance the U.S. and Mexico will reach an agreement to avert his threatened 5 percent tariff on all Mexican imports.

Crude oil futures ended sharply higher for a second straight session on Friday, amid signs OPEC will extend output cuts beyond June. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for July ended up $1.40 or 2.7 percent at $53.99 a barrel.

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