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Malaysia Bourse Draws Firm Lead For Wednesday

The Malaysia stock market has finished higher in two of three volatile trading days since the end of the six-day losing streak in which it had dropped almost 230 points or 17.5 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,290-point plateau and it's predicted to open higher again on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is broadly positive on optimism that a massive stimulus bill from the U.S. Congress is close at hand. The European and U.S. markets finished with huge gains and the Asian bourses are now tipped to open in the green.

The KLCI finished sharply higher on Tuesday following gains from the financial shares, plantation stocks and industrial issues.

For the day, the index jumped 31.26 points or 2.48 percent to finish at 1,291.14 after trading between 1,271.34 and 1,310.55. Volume was 3.2 billion shares worth 2.2 billion ringgit. There were 756 gainers and 155 decliners.

Among the actives, Hong Leong Bank skyrocketed 11.81 percent, while Public Bank surged 9.64 percent, Sime Darby soared 7.55 percent, RHB Capital spiked 5.93 percent, Genting accelerated 4.82 percent, Axiata jumped 4.81 percent, Malaysia Airports Holdings plummeted 4.67 percent, CIMB Group climbed 4.56 percent, Press Metal tumbled 3.28 percent, MISC gathered 2.70 percent, Maybank collected 2.53 percent, Dialog Group perked 2.45 percent, Digi.com skidded 2.44 percent, IHH Healthcare advanced 2.29 percent, Hartalega Holdings dropped 1.20 percent, Genting Malaysia and Sime Darby Plantations both added 1.09 percent, Petronas Chemicals gained 0.70 percent, Tenaga Nasional sank 0.67 percent, AMMB Holdings rose 0.34 percent, PPB Group fell 0.13 percent and IOI Corporation and Top Glove were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street suggests major upside as stocks skyrocketed on Tuesday, cutting into the losses suffered in recent weeks due to concerns over the coronavirus.

The Dow skyrocketed 2,112.98 points or 11.37 percent to end at 20,704.91, while the NASDAQ soared 557.18 points or 8.12 percent to 7,417.86 and the S&P 500 surged 209.93 points or 9.3 percent to 2,447.33.

The rally on Wall Street came amid indications Democrats and Republicans are closing in on an agreement on a massive fiscal stimulus bill. Democrats are still pushing for increased oversight of a proposed $500 billion bailout fund to help industries that are struggling amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Traders were also reacting to President Donald Trump's comments suggesting the coronavirus-related shutdown of much of the country could end sooner than many anticipated - although that flies in contrast to what most health experts say.

Crude oil prices were higher Tuesday, extending gains from the previous session thanks to the Federal Reserve's massive asset-buying scheme. Optimism for a $2 trillion fiscal stimulus bill added to the positive sentiment. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended up $0.65 or 2.8 percent at $24.01 a barrel.

Closer to home, Malaysia will provide February data for consumer prices later today; in January, overall inflation was up 0.1 percent on month and 1.6 percent on year.

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