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Malaysia Stock Market May Add To Its Winnings

The Malaysia stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last four trading days since the end of the two-day winning streak in which it had advanced more than 20 points or 1.3 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,600-point plateau and it's looking at another green light again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive on optimism for a resolution in the trade wat between the United States and China. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses are predicted to follow that lead.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Wednesday following gains from the financial shares and industrials, while the plantations and telecoms were mixed.

For the day, the index gained 6.45 points or 0.40 percent to finish at the daily high of 1,602.30 after moving as low as 1,595.28. Volume was 2.3 billion shares worth 1.8 billion ringgit. There were 434 gainers and 349 decliners.

Among the actives, Petronas Dagangan skyrocketed 7.57 percent, while Petronas Chemicals surged 3.29 percent, Axiata Group soared 2.19 percent, AMMB Holdings plummeted 1.20 percent, Sime Darby plunged 0.85 percent, Sime Darby Plantations spiked 0.82 percent, Malaysia Airports Holdings tumbled 0.82 percent, Top Glove jumped 0.64 percent, CIMB Group collected 0.60 percent, Dialog Group skidded 0.57 percent, Maxis dropped 0.53 percent, IHH Healthcare climbed 0.52 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong advanced 0.51 percent, Tenaga Nasional sank 0.43 percent, Hartalega Holdings added 0.38 percent, Maybank gained 0.34 percent, IOI Corporation shed 0.23 percent, Digi.com rose 0.22 percent, RHB Capital was up 0.18 percent, MISC fell 0.13 percent and Genting, Public Bank and Genting Malaysia were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is firm as stocks opened higher on Wednesday and continued to rise as the day progressed, sending the major averages to their best closing levels in a month.

The Dow added 227.61 points or 0.85 percent to 27,137.04, while the NASDAQ spiked 85.52 points or 1.06 percent to 8,169.68 and the S&P 500 rose 21.54 points or 0.72 percent to 3,000.93.

The strength on Wall Street came following news that China is granting tariff exemptions for 16 types of American-made products as a sign of goodwill ahead of the next round of trade talks.

Stocks also benefited from optimism about new global stimulus ahead of the European Central Bank's monetary policy decision later today as well as next week's Federal Reserve meeting.

Crude oil prices declined sharply Wednesday on a downward revision in OPEC's oil demand forecast and speculation that the U.S. may ease sanctions on Iran. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended down $1.65 or 2.9 percent at $55.75 a barrel, the lowest settlement since September 3.

Closer to home, the central bank in Malaysia will wrap up its monetary policy meeting later today and announce its decision on interest rates; the bank is widely expected to keep its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 3.00 percent.

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