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Little Movement Expected For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market on Wednesday snapped the two-day winning streak in which it had gathered almost 15 points or 0.9 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,600-point plateau and it figures to be rangebound again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is fairly rudderless amid a lack of catalysts as investors look for concrete details in a possible trade agreement between the United States and China. The European markets were slightly higher and the U.S. bourses were mixed and flat and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The KLCI finished slightly lower on Wednesday following losses from the plantations and a mixed picture from the financial sector.

For the day, the index dipped 3.49 points or 0.22 percent to finish at 1,603.25 after trading between 1,597.18 and 1,609.64. Volume was 2.7 billion shares worth 1.7 billion ringgit. There were 485 decliners and 338 gainers.

Among the actives, Malaysia Airports Holdings surged 5.72 percent, while Top Glove plummeted 2.89 percent, Press Metal soared 1.71 percent, Dialog Group plunged 1.44 percent, Petronas Chemicals and Sime Darby both tumbled 1.30 percent, Hartalega Holdings skidded 0.91 percent, Sime Darby Plantations dropped 0.80 percent, IOI Corporation retreated 0.67 percent, Maybank collected 0.58 percent, Tenaga Nasional declined 0.57 percent, Axiata advanced 0.47 percent, IHH Healthcare added 0.36 percent, Genting shed 0.33 percent, Public Bank lost 0.30 percent, Digi.com gained 0.21 percent, CIMB Group fell 0.19 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong rose 0.18 percent, MISC was up 0.12 percent and RHB Capital and Genting Malaysia were unchanged.

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

The Dow eased 0.07 points to end at 27,492.56, while the NASDAQ fell 24.05 points or 0.29 percent to 8,410.63 and the S&P rose 2.16 points or 0.07 percent to 3,076.78.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders were reluctant to make significant moves amid uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets after the recent run to record highs.

Optimism about a potential U.S.-China trade deal contributed to the strength on Wall Street, but traders now seem to be looking for more concrete developments - limiting the upside.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department said labor productivity in the U.S. unexpectedly edged lower in the third quarter.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Wednesday, snapping a three-day winning streak, after data showed a larger than expected increase in crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended down $0.88 or 1.5 percent at $56.35 a barrel.

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