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Malaysia Bourse Overdue For Profit Taking

The Malaysia stock market has climbed higher in seven straight sessions, rising more than 70 points or 5.3 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,450-point plateau although investors are likely to cash in on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft, with profit taking expected following recent gains. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses figure to open in similar fashion.

The KLSI finished sharply higher on Thursday following gains from the financial shares, plantation stocks and industrials.

For the day, the index advanced 16.99 points or 1.18 percent to finish at 1,452.11 after trading between 1,437.13 and 1,455.13. Volume was 6.732 billion shares worth 4.392 billion ringgit. There were 545 gainers and 425 decliners.

Among the actives, Petronas Gas skyrocketed 12.78 percent, while Top Glove surged 7.96 percent, Hartalega Holdings soared 6.16 percent, Petronas Chemicals spiked 5.65 percent, IOI Corporation accelerated 5.14 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong jumped 2.73 percent, AMMB Holdings climbed 2.68 percent, Axiata Group tumbled 2.33 percent, CIMB Group gathered 2.30 percent, Tenaga Nasional skidded 1.61 percent, Digi.com retreated 1.57 percent, RHB Capital perked 1.47 percent, Sime Darby Plantations advanced 1.22 percent, MISC added 1.11 percent, Dialog Group gained 1.10 percent, Press Metal rose 1.06 percent, Sime Darby increased 0.50 percent, Maybank collected 0.27 percent, Genting added 0.25 percent, Public Bank was up 0.13 percent and Maxis, Malaysia Airports Holdings and Genting Malaysia were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks showed a lack of direction on Thursday before finally slipping firmly into negative territory.

The Dow shed 101.78 points or 0.41 percent to finish at 24,474.12, while the NASDAQ sank 90.90 points or 0.97 percent to 9.284.88 and the S&P 55 fell 23.10 points or 0.78 percent to end at 2,948.51.

The weakness on Wall Street was partly due to profit taking, as some traders cashed in on the strong gains posted on Monday and Wednesday.

Traders were also reacting to a Labor Department report showing initial jobless claims pulled back further off their record high but remain at an elevated level.

Also, the National Association of Realtors released a report showing another steep drop in U.S. existing home sales in April.

Crude oil prices moved up Thursday, extending recent gains amid continued optimism about a pickup in energy demand and falling supply levels in the market. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures rose $0.43 or 1.3 percent at $33.92 a barrel.

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