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Malaysia Stock Market To Again Test 1,600-Point Level

The Malaysia stock market has finished higher in back-to-back sessions, collecting almost 15 points or 0.9 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,600-point plateau and it may add to its winnings on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on Covid-19 vaccine optimism. The European markets were slightly lower and the U.S. bourses were higher and the Asian markets figure to at least open in the green, although some profit taking may occur as the session progresses.

The KLCI finished slightly higher on Monday as gains from the rubber glove makers and telecoms were offset by weakness from the financials and a mixed picture form the plantations.

For the day, the index rose 3.73 points or 0.23 percent to finish at 1,597.48 after trading between 1,592.71 and 1,600.58. Volume was 9.426 billion shares worth 4.516 billion ringgit. There were 674 decliners and 540 gainers.

Among the actives, Petronas Dagangan skyrocketed 12.64 percent, while Dialog Group surged 3.30 percent, Press Metal plummeted 3.08 percent, PPB Group soared 2.99 percent, Tenaga Nasional plunged 2.33 percent, Malaysia Airports Holdings spiked 2.03 percent, IHH Healthcare accelerated 1.83 percent, Genting rallied 1.48 percent, Digi.com jumped 1.44 percent, Sime Darby climbed 1.25 percent, Axiata and AMMB Holdings both gathered 0.91 percent, MISC perked 0.86 percent, Top Glove advanced 0.82 percent, Genting Malaysia tumbled 0.79 percent, Maybank sank 0.74 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong added 0.51 percent, IOI Corporation and Public Bank both lost 0.44 percent, Hartalega Holdings gained 0.42 percent, RHB Capital fell 0.40 percent, Petronas Chemicals slid 0.29 percent, Maxis was up 0.20 percent and Sime Darby Plantations and CIMB Group were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks opened higher on Monday and remained mostly in the green throughout the day, offsetting losses from the previous session.

The Dow soared 327.79 points or 1.12 percent to finish at 29,591.27, while the NASDAQ added 25.66 points or 0.22 percent to end at 11,880.63 and the S&P 500 rose 20.05 points or 0.56 percent to close at 3,577.59.

The strength on Wall followed additional upbeat news regarding a potential Covid-19 vaccine after AstraZeneca (AZN) said its vaccine candidate being developed in collaboration with Oxford University had an average efficacy of 70 percent.

Adding to the positive sentiment, the FDA has granted an emergency use authorization for Regeneron's Covid-19 antibody treatment.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Monday on optimism that OPEC and other oil producers may extend the curb on crude production by another few months. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended up $0.64 or 1.5 percent at $43.06 a barrel.

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