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Malaysia Bourse Predicted To Be Rangebound On Wednesday

The Malaysia stock market has moved higher in back-to-back trading days, gathering almost 15 points or 0.9 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,605-point plateau and it's expected to remain in that neighborhood again on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky thanks to ambiguity regarding trade and interest rates. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed and the Asian markets figure to see little movement as well.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Tuesday following gains from the financial shares and the plantation stocks.

For the day, the index picked up 3.18 points or 0.20 percent to finish at the daily high of 1,606.74 after moving as low as 1,597.76. Volume was 2.6 billion shares worth 2.3 billion ringgit. There were 424 decliners and 404 gainers.

Among the actives, Press Metal plummeted 2.71 percent, while AMMB Holdings surged 1.99 percent, CIMB Group soared 1.52 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong spiked 1.36 percent, Genting accelerated 1.34 percent, Hartalega Holdings plunged 1.26 percent, IHH Healthcare tumbled 1.25 percent, MICS skidded 1.09 percent, Petronas Chemicals jumped 1.05 percent, Genting Malaysia climbed 0.93 percent, IOI Corporation gathered 0.90 percent, Sime Darby Plantations perked 0.60 percent, Dialog Group dropped 0.57 percent, Axiata shed 0.47 percent, Top Glove lost 0.44 percent, Sime Darby added 0.43 percent, Maybank collected 0.35 percent, Public Bank rose 0.30 percentDigi.com fell 0.21 percent and Hong Leong Financial, Hap Seng Consolidated, Tenaga Nasional and Hong Leong Bank were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks showed a lack of direction on Tuesday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before ending mixed.

The Dow added 30.52 points or 0.11 percent to 27,492.63, while the NASDAQ rose 1.48 points or 0.02 percent to 8,434.60 and the S&P 500 fell 3.65 points or 0.12 percent to 3,074.62.

The early strength on Wall Street came amid continued optimism about a potential U.S.-China trade deal, with President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping expected to sign phase one of an agreement sometime this month.

Buying interest was subdued, however, as traders wait for more concrete developments before continuing to buy stocks following the recent run to record highs.

But stocks ebbed following a report from the Institute for Supply Management showing better than expected growth in the U.S. service sector in October. The data raised concerns about the outlook for interest rates after the Federal Reserve said last week it's putting further rate cuts on hold.

Crude oil for December delivery is extending to recent gains on continued optimism about the outlook for global demand. West Texas Intermediate advanced $0.70 or 1.24 percent to $57.22.

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