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Rally May Stall For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market has moved higher in back-to-back sessions, gathering almost 25 points or 1.6 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,605-point plateau although investors may cash in on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower, with technology stocks expected to weigh heavily - while growing coronavirus concerns add to the negative sentiment. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

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

For the day, the index climbed 14.59 points or 0.92 percent to finish at 1,606.43 after trading between 1,595.75 and 1,608.34. Volume was 9.549 billion shares worth 5.703 billion ringgit. There were 576 decliners and 499 gainers.

Among the actives, Top Glove skyrocketed 9.49 percent, while Hartalega Holdings surged 4.92 percent, Petronas Chemicals plummeted 1.27 percent, IHH Healthcare soared 1.12 percent, Malaysia Airports Holdings tumbled 0.94 percent, RHB Capital skidded 0.79 percent, Genting spiked 0.73 percent, Sime Darby Plantations retreated 0.60 percent, Maxis jumped 0.56 percent, Dialog Group climbed 0.52 percent, Digi.com advanced 0.46 percent, IOI Corporation declined 0.44 percent, Genting Malaysia sank 0.40 percent, MISC added 0.38 percent, Tenaga Nasional dropped 0.35 percent, Axiata shed 0.29 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong gained 0.27 percent, CIMB Group lost 0.26 percent, PPB Group rose 0.22 percent, Press Metal fell 0.21 percent, Maybank eased 0.13 percent. Public Bank collected 0.11 percent and Petronas Gas, Sime Darby and AMMB Holdings were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks opened sharply higher on Monday before the gains dissipated in afternoon trade and fell into the red.

The Dow added 10.50 points or 0.04 percent to finish at 26,085.80, while the NASDAQ plummeted 226.60 points or 2.13 percent to end at 10,390.84 and the S&P 500 sank 29.82 points or 0.94 percent to close at 3,155.22.

The sharp pullback by the NASDAQ came as tech giants like Netflix (NFLX), Tesla (TSLA), Amazon (AMZN) and Facebook (FB) showed substantial downturns after reaching new record intraday highs.

The afternoon sell-off on Wall Street also came as California Governor Gavin Newsom rolled back the state's reopening following a recent spike in coronavirus cases.

The early rally on Wall Street followed upbeat news regarding a potential coronavirus vaccine. Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) announced that two of the companies' vaccine candidates received Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The upbeat news on the vaccine front came as the U.S. has reported more than 60,000 new coronavirus cases for three days in a row, with Florida seeing a record 15,299 new cases on Sunday.

Crude oil prices slipped on Monday as concerns about the energy demand outlook resurfaced amid worries about rising new coronavirus cases. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August fell $0.45 or 1.1 percent at $40.10 a barrel.

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