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Higher Open Predicted For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market has moved lower in three straight sessions, sliding more than 30 points or 2 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,560-point plateau although it's got a solid lead for Monday's trade.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly positive on renewed optimism over the outlook for interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses are predicted to open in similar fashion.

The KLCI finished modestly lower on Friday following losses from the financial shares and a mixed picture from the plantations and industrials.

For the day, the index lost 6.45 points or 0.41 percent to finish at 1,557.67 after trading between 1,551.96 and 1,564.79. Volume was 2.0 billion shares worth 1.6 billion ringgit. There were 413 gainers and 400 decliners.

Among the actives, Kuala Lumpur Kepong plummeted 6.76 percent, while Genting Malaysia surged 2.68 percent, Petronas Chemicals plunged 2.14 percent, AMMB Holdings tumbled 1.24 percent, Hartalega Holdings soared 1.16 percent, Press Metal and Sime Darby Plantations spiked 0.64 percent, Dialog Group skidded 0.59 percent, Maybank sank 0.47 percent, IOI Corporation jumped 0.47 percent, Tenaga Nasional dropped 0.44 percent, Digi.com climbed 0.43 percent, IHH Healthcare shed 0.35 percent, CIMB Group lost 0.21 percent, THB Capital fell 0.18 percent, Genting added 0.18 percent and Sime Darby, Top Glove, Public Bank, Axiata Group, MISC and Hong Leong Bank all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is upbeat as stocks moved higher again on Friday, extending gains from the previous session.

The Dow jumped 372.68 points or 1.42 percent to 26,573.72, while the NASDAQ rose 110.21 points or 1.40 percent to 7,982.47 and the S&P climbed 41.38 points or 1.42 percent to 2,952.01. For the week, the Dow shed 0.9 percent, the NASDAQ rose 0.5 percent and the S&P fell 0.3 percent.

The rally on Wall Street followed Friday's Labor Department report that showed weaker than expected job growth but an unexpected drop in the unemployment rate to a nearly 50-year low. The mixed data served the dual purpose of reinforcing expectations the Federal Reserve will continue cutting interest rates while at the same offsetting concerns about a potential recession.

Stocks saw further upside in afternoon trading after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell described the U.S. economy as "in a good place" and said it is the central bank's job to "keep it there as long as possible."

Crude oil prices moved higher Friday and snapped an eight-session losing streak after decent jobs data from the U.S. Labor Department eased concerns about growth in the U.S. economy and the outlook for energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended up $0.36 or 0.7 percent at $52.81 a barrel.

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