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Malaysia Bourse Figures To Remain Rangebound

The Malaysia stock market has moved higher in two of three trading days since the end of the three-day slide in which it had dipped just 4 points or 0.2 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,600-point plateau and it's expected to see little movement on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is flat to lower ahead of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's speech later today at the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Thursday following gains from the plantations, while the industrials and financials were mixed.

For the day, the index advanced 7.88 points or 0.49 percent to finish at 1,602.47 after trading between 1,594.17 and 1,605.53. Volume was 2 billion shares worth 1.8 billion ringgit. There were 395 decliners and 388 gainers.

Among the actives, AMMB Holdings skyrocketed 6.15 percent, while Maxis surged 1.83 percent, Top Glove soared 1.78 percent, RHB Capital spiked 1.66 percent, IOI Corporation jumped 1.65 percent, Press Metal perked 1.25 percent, MISC climbed 0.97 percent, Hartalega Holdings gathered 0.80 percent, Petronas Chemicals advanced 0.70 percent, Genting Malaysia skidded 0.65 percent, Dialog Group added 0.58 percent, Sime Darby gained 0.48 percent, Digi.com rose 0.40 percent, Maybank collected 0.35 percent, Genting lost 0.33 percent, Public Bank was up 0.29 percent, CIMB Group fell 0.20 percent, IHH Healthcare added 0.18 percent and Hong Leong Financial, PPB Group, Malaysia Airports Holdings, Tenaga Nasional and Kuala Lumpur Kepong all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little guidance as stocks failed to sustain an early move to the upside on Thursday and showed a lack of direction before finishing mixed.

The Dow added 49.51 points or 0.19 percent to 26,252.24, while the NASDAQ lost 28.82 points or 0.36 percent to 7,991.39 and the S&P 500 fell 1.48 points or 0.05 percent to 2,922.95.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came amid another inversion of the yield curve, with the yield on the two-year note briefly dropping below the yield on the ten-year note after the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting failed to provide much clarity about the outlook for interest rates.

In economic news, the Labor Department said first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell by much more than expected last week. Also, the Conference Board said its leading U.S. economic indicators rose by much more than anticipated in July.

Crude oil prices edged lower Thursday on concerns about the outlook for near-term energy demand due to a slowing global economy. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for October ended down $0.33 or 0.6 percent at $55.35 a barrel.

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