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Malaysia Bourse May Add To Its Winnings

The Malaysia stock market has ticked higher in back-to-back sessions, adding almost 10 points or 0.6 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just shy of the 1,570-point plateau and it's expected to extend its gains again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly positive on solid economic data and a spike in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were firmly higher on Friday and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow that lead.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Friday following gains from the plantations and mixed performances from the financials and industrials.

For the day, the index picked up 4.86 points or 0.31 percent to finish at 1,568.44 after trading between 1,561.58 and 1,569.01. Volume was 2.5 billion shares worth 1.5 billion ringgit. There were 497 gainers and 355 decliners.

Among the actives, Sime Darby Plantations surged 2.52 percent, while MISC soared 2.21 percent, Petronas Dagangan tumbled 2.19 percent, Dialog Group and Kuala Lumpur Kepong both accelerated 1.77 percent, Hartalega Holdings spiked 1.36 percent, Malaysia Airports Holdings skidded 1.33 percent, Sime Darby jumped 1.28 percent, Tenaga Nasional climbed 1.21 percent, IOI Corporation perked 1.13 percent, Genting Malaysia sank 0.94 percent, Public Bank dropped 0.93 percent, AMMB Holdings advanced 0.78 percent, Digi.com added 0.67 percent, IHH Healthcare shed 0.57 percent, Petronas Chemicals lost 0.56 percent, Axiata fell 0.47 percent, CIMB Group collected 0.39 percent, Maybank slid 0.35 percent, Top Glove gained 0.23 percent and Genting rose 0.17 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is firm as stocks moved sharply higher on Friday as the major averages extended recent gains.

The Dow jumped 337.26 points or 1.22 percent to 28,015.06, while the NASDAQ climbed 85.83 points or 1.00 percent to 8,656.53 and the S&P 500 rose 28.48 points or 0.91 percent to 3,145.91. For the week, the Dow and NASDAQ fell 0.1 percent and the S&P added 0.2 percent.

The rally on Wall Street came after the Labor Department's closely watched monthly jobs report showed much stronger than expected U.S. job growth in November - while the unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent.

Adding to the positive sentiment, preliminary data released by the University of Michigan showed a much bigger than expected improvement in U.S. consumer sentiment in December.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Friday after Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed on further output curbs. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended up $0.77 or 1.3 percent at $59.20 a barrel, the highest settlement since September 17.

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