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Little Movement Expected For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market on Tuesday snapped the four-day losing streak in which it had fallen more than a dozen points or 0.8 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,680-point plateau and it figures to hold steady in that neighborhood again on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat on concerns over the outlook for interest rates. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Tuesday following gains from the plantations and a mixed picture from the financial sector.

For the day, the index rose up 5.23 points or 0.31 percent to finish at the daily high of 1,682.87 after moving as low as 1,677.98. Volume was 2.4 billion shares worth 1.7 billion ringgit. There were 402 decliners and 401 gainers.

Among the actives, Maxis surged 1.96 percent, while Sime Darby Plantations soared 1.03 percent, IHH Healthcare and Sine Darby both spiked 0.87 percent, Dialog Group jumped 0.60 percent, CIMB Group tumbled 0.56 percent, Axiata climbed 0.39 percent, Public Bank perked 0.35 percent, RHB Capital sank 0.35 percent, Genting Malaysia advanced 0.30 percent, Genting shed 0.30 percent, MISC added 0.28 percent, IOI Corporation gained 0.24 percent, Maybank collected 0.22 percent, Digi.com rose 0.20 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong gathered 0.16 percent, Tenaga Nasional was up 0.14 percent and Petronas Chemical, Petronas Dagangan, Top Glove and Hap Seng Consolidated were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks opened lower on Tuesday but recovered to finish mixed.

The Dow shed 22.65 points or 0.08 percent to 26,783.49, while the NASDAQ added 43.35 points or 0.54 percent to 8,141.73 and the S&P 500 rose 3.68 points or 0.12 percent to 2,979.63.

Traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves ahead of Congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell later today. The Fed chief is not likely to specifically lay out the central bank's plans to lawmakers, but traders will analyze his comments for clues about the outlook for rates.

Wednesday will also see the release of the minutes of the Fed's last monetary policy meeting, which may shed additional light on the central bank's decision to make notable changes to its accompanying statement.

Crude oil futures settled higher Tuesday as traders weighed crude demand and supply prospects ahead of weekly inventory data. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended up $0.17 or 0.3 percent at $57.83 a barrel.

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