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Malaysia Stock Market May Extend Thursday's Gains

The Malaysia stock market on Thursday halted the two-day slide in which it had fallen almost 8 points or 0.5 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index remains just above the 1,550-point plateau and it may add to its winnings on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on optimism for a trade deal between the United States and China. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian bourses are expected to open in similar fashion.

The KLCI finished barely higher on Thursday as gains from the financials were offset by weakness from the plantation stocks.

For the day, the index added 0.64 points or 0.04 percent to finish at 1,551.87 after trading between 1,548.45 and 1,553.18. Volume was 2.2 billion shares worth 1.5 billion ringgit. There were 384 decliners and 339 gainers.

Among the actives, Top Glove plummeted 1.37 percent, while AMMB Holdings plunged 1.29 percent, Sime Darby Plantations tumbled 1.08 percent, Genting Malaysia skidded 0.98 percent, MISC soared 0.75 percent, RHB Capital spiked 0.71 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong jumped 0.66 percent, Press Metal retreated 0.64 percent, PPB Group climbed 0.56 percent, Genting dropped 0.53 percent, Tenaga Nasional advanced 0.44 percent, Sime Darby sank 0.44 percent, Dialog Group added 0.30 percent, Petronas Chemicals shed 0.28 percent, IOI Corporation lost 0.24 percent, CIMB Group collected 0.21 percent, Maybank and Hong Leong Bank both rose 0.12 percent and Hap Seng Consolidated, Hartalega Holdings, IHH Healthcare and Digi.com were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as traders intensely focused on the latest developments surrounding the highly anticipated U.S.-China trade talks, sending markets significantly higher.

The Dow added 150.66 points or 0.57 percent to 26,496.67, while the NASDAQ gained 47.04 points or 0.60 percent to 7,950.78 and the S&P 500 rose 18.73 points or 0.64 percent to 2,938.13.

Buying interest emerged on Wall Street after President Donald Trump revealed he plans to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He as part of high-level U.S.-China trade talks. Traders will remain focused on the highly anticipated negotiations and any signs of progress or lack thereof.

In economic news, the Labor Department said U.S. consumer prices were essentially flat in September and that there was a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits last week.

Crude oil prices moved higher Thursday as OPEC said that it has all options in place to balance oil markets and that it would make a decision in December about supply. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended up $0.96 or 1.8 percent at $53.55 a barrel, the highest settlement since October 1.

Closer to home, Malaysia will release August figures for industrial and manufacturing production later today; in July, they were up an annual 1.2 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively.

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