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Mild Upside Tipped For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market on Friday halted the two-day slide in which it had tumbled almost 30 points or 2 percent. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,500-point plateau and it may tick slightly higher again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is fairly flat, although technology stocks may see further profit taking. The European and U.S. bourse were mixed but little changed on Friday and the Asian markets are tipped to follow suit.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Friday solely on the huge rebound from the rubber glove makers - while the financials, telecoms and plantations all were soft.

For the day, the index climbed 14.73 points or 0.99 percent to finish at 1,504.85 after trading between 1,477.47 and 1,505.89. Volume was 7.658 billion shares worth 6.493 billion ringgit. There were 729 gainers and 348 decliners.

Among the actives, Top Glove skyrocketed 20.31 percent, while Hartalega Holdings surged 4.71 percent, Malaysia Airports Holdings plummeted 1.95 percent, Axiata plunged 1.90 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong tanked 1.83 percent, RHB Capital tumbled 1.49 percent, Petronas Chemicals skidded 1.40 percent, Sime Darby retreated 1.30 percent, AMMB Holdings declined 0.99 percent, Genting Malaysia surrendered 0.90 percent, Maxis sank 0.78 percent, Tenaga Nasional dropped 0.70 percent, IOI Corporation and Maybank both shed 0.67 percent, Public Bank lost 0.62 percent, Genting fell 0.57 percent, MISC slid 0.53 percent, Digi.com dipped 0.48 percent, PPB Group was down 0.43 percent, CIMB Group eased 0.31 percent and Sime Darby Plantations, Petronas Gas, Dialog Group, IHH Healthcare, Press Metal and Hong Leong Bank all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks showed a lack of direction on Friday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before finishing mixed.

The Dow added 131.06 points or 0.48 percent to finish at 27,665.64, while the NASDAQ lost 66.05 points or 0.60 percent to end at 10,853.54 and the S&P 500 rose 1.78 points or 0.05 percent to close at 3,340.97. For the week, the Dow lost 1.7 percent, the NASDAQ sank 4.1 percent and the S&P fell 2.5 percent.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders were reluctant to make significant moves after the substantial volatility in the past several sessions.

Traders may also have been looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy decision scheduled for next Wednesday. The Fed is widely expected to leave rates at near-zero levels but could make tweaks to its accompanying statement. The central bank's latest economic projections may also attract some attention.

In economic news, the Labor Department said consumer prices increased more than anticipated in August, as did core CPI.

Crude oil prices were sluggish on Friday but managed to close slightly higher, weighed by worries about the outlook for energy demand due to a continued surge in coronavirus cases. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for October ended up $0.03 or 0.08 percent at $37.33 a barrel. WTI crude oil futures lost 6 percent for the week.

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