Malaysia Bourse May Reclaim 1,600-Point Level

The Malaysia stock market on Friday ended the two-day slide in which it had fallen more than 15 points or 1 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just shy of the 1,595-point plateau and it may extend its gains on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is firm on growing optimism for a resolution in the trade dispute between the United States and China. The European and U.S. markets were up on Friday and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow suit.

The KLCI finished slightly higher on Friday following mixed performances from the financial shares and plantation stocks.

For the day, the index added 1.20 points or 0.08 percent to finish at 1,594.75 after trading between 1,592.22 and 1,596.85. Volume was 2.7 billion shares worth 1.7 billion ringgit. There were 423 decliners and 382 gainers.

Among the actives, IHH Healthcare surged 2.10 percent, while Digi.com plummeted 1.29 percent, AMMB Holdings soared 1.20 percent, Sime Darby accelerated 0.85 percent, Tenaga Nasional spiked 0.59 percent, Petronas Chemicals jumped 0.54 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong tumbled 0.53 percent, CIMB Group collected 0.38 percent, Public Bank sank 0.30 percent, Top Glove climbed 0.22 percent, Sime Darby Plantations advanced 0.20 percent, RHB Capital slid 0.17 percent, Genting rose 0.16 percent, Maybank and MISC both fell 0.12 percent and Hong Leong Financial, Dialog Group, IOI Corporation, Genting Malaysia and Hong Leong Bank were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks showed a strong upward move, sending the major averages to fresh record closing highs.

The Dow added 222.93 points or 0.93 percent to 28.004.89, while the NASDAQ gained 61.81 points or 0.73 percent to 8,540.83 and the S&P 500 rose 23.83 points or 0.77 percent to 3,120.46. For the week, the Dow jumped 1.2 percent, the NASDAQ climbed 0.8 percent and the S&P was up 0.9 percent.

The strength on Wall Street came amid renewed optimism about a U.S.-China trade deal following comments from White House officials. Also, China has lifted a nearly five-year ban on imports of U.S. poultry in a goodwill gesture that could lead to more than $1 billion in annual shipments to China.

In economic news, the Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales rebounded slightly more than expected in October, while the Federal Reserve noted a steep drop in industrial output last month.

Crude oil prices ended sharply higher Friday on renewed optimism about a potential U.S.-China trade deal and hopes the OPEC might decide to deepen its supply cuts. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended up $0.95 or 1.7 percent at $57.72 a barrel.

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