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Mild Rebound Predicted For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last five 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 remains just above the 1,600-point plateau and it may tick higher again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on optimism regarding trade and interest rates, The European and U.S. markets were slightly higher and the Asian bourses are predicted to open in similar fashion.

The KLCI finished barely lower on Thursday following losses from the plantations and mixed performances from the financials and industrials.

For the day, the index eased down 1.30 points or 0.08 percent to finish at the daily low of 1,601.00 after peaking at 1,608.39. Volume was 1.9 billion shares worth 1.7 billion ringgit. There were 437 gainers and 354 decliners.

Among the actives, Petronas Chemicals surged 3.87 percent, while Digi.com soared 2.39 percent, AMMB Holdings plummeted 1.94 percent, IHH Healthcare plunged 1.90 percent, Sime Darby Plantations tumbled 1.62 percent, Hartalega Holdings skidded 1.31 percent, Genting Malaysia spiked 1.25 percent, Tenaga Nasional dropped 1.00 percent, Top Glove jumped 0.84 percent, Axiata climbed 0.71 percent, CIMB Group sank 0.60 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong shed 0.59 percent, IOI Corporation lost 0.45 percent, Genting advanced 0.34 percent, Dialog Group fell 0.29 percent, MISC gained 0.13 percent, Maybank and PPB Group both rose 0.11 percent and Sime Darby and Press Metal were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street suggests mild upside as stocks fluctuated on Thursday but maintained a positive bias. The major averages once again ended the session at their best closing levels in over a month.

The Dow added 45.41 points or 0.17 percent to 27,182.45, while the NASDAQ gained 24.79 points or 0.30 percent to 8,194.47 and the S&P 500 rose 8.64 points or 0.29 percent to 3,0009.57.

Stocks fluctuated throughout much of the session as traders reacted to conflicting reports regarding an interim U.S.-China trade deal. Stocks showed a notable move to the upside on reports that Trump administration officials have discussed offering an interim trade agreement to China.

However, stocks ebbed after a senior White House official told CNBC the U.S. is "absolutely not" considering an interim trade deal. But the markets maintained a positive bias when Trump said he is temporarily delaying raising tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Positive sentiment was also generated in reaction to the European Central Bank's monetary policy decision, with the ECB cutting rates and announcing a massive new bond-buying program.

Crude oil futures ended lower on Thursday, extending losses to a third straight session following 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 $0.66 or 1.2 percent at $55.09 a barrel.

Closer to home, Malaysia will release July data for unemployment later today; in June, the jobless rate was 3.3 percent and the participation rate was 68.6 percent.

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