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Malaysia Stock Market May Run Out Of Steam

The Malaysia stock market has climbed higher in three straight sessions, gathering more than 25 points or 1.7 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,515-point plateau although investors may cash in on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky, with concerns over rising coronavirus cases tempered by optimism for a possible treatment. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Wednesday following gains from the financial shares and plantation stocks.

For the day, the index gained 13.46 points or 0.90 percent to finish at 1,514.43 after trading between 1,497.54 and 1,517.01. Volume was 7.330 billion shares worth 3.601 billion ringgit. There were 660 gainers and 313 decliners.

Among the actives, Hartalega Holdings skyrocketed 13.69 percent, while Top Glove surged 6.46 percent, Sime Darby plummeted 2.33 percent, Malaysia Airports Holdings soared 2.02 percent, IHH Healthcare plunged 1.82 percent, AMMB Holdings tanked 1.61 percent, CIMB Group spiked 1.40 percent, IOI Corporation accelerated 1.38 percent, MISC jumped 1.31 percent, Maxis tumbled 1.30 percent, Sime Darby Plantations climbed 1.22 percent, Dialog Group gathered 1.11 percent, Tenaga Nasional skidded 1.03 percent, Digi.com dropped 0.93 percent, Press Metal perked 0.88 percent, Petronas Chemicals advanced 0.81 percent, Genting Malaysia shed 0.79 percent, Genting lost 0.49 percent, RHB Capital added 0.42 percent, Maybank collected 0.13 percent, Public Bank rose 0.12 percent and Kuala Lumpur Kepong and Axiata were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is inconclusive as stocks opened higher Wednesday but then bounced back and forth across the unchanged like and eventually finished the session mixed.

The Dow shed 77.91 points or 0.30 percent to finish at 25,734.97, while the NASDAQ climbed 95.86 points or 0.95 percent to end at 10,154.63 and the S&P 500 rose 15.57 points or 0.50 percent to close at 3,115.86.

The upward moves by the NASDAQ and S&P came after drug giant Pfizer (PFE) and German biotech company BioNTech (BNTX) announced positive data from an early-stage human trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine.

The companies said the most advanced of four investigational vaccine candidates was generally well tolerated and produced neutralizing antibodies.

In economic news, the Institute for Supply Management said U.S. manufacturing activity unexpectedly expanded in June, while payroll processor ADP showed a significant increase in private sector employment last month.

Crude oil futures were higher Wednesday, as data showed a sharp fall in U.S. crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures ended up $0.55 or 1.4 percent at $39.82 a barrel.

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