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Mild Support Seen For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market has finished lower in two straight sessions, shedding more than 20 points or 1.3 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,610-point plateau although it may find traction on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to higher on the back of strong crude oil gains. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were up and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The KLCI finished modestly lower on Tuesday as losses from the financial shares and plantations were mitigated by support from the rubber glove makers.

For the day, the index dipped 5.21 points or 0.32 percent to finish at 1,612.04 after trading between 1,590.71 and 1,621.10. Volume was 8.408 billion shares worth 5.764 billion ringgit. There were 732 gainers and 502 decliners.

Among the actives, Hartalega Holdings skyrocketed 7.53 percent, while Top Glove surged 3.89 percent, Supermax soared 3.84 percent, CIMB Group plummeted 2.97 percent, Digi.com plunged 2.40 percent, Maybank tanked 2.32 percent, Genting spiked 1.98 percent, Telekom Malaysia accelerated 1.63 percent, RHB Capital tumbled 1.48 percent, Axiata rallied 1.38 percent, Petronas Chemicals skidded 1.37 percent, Sime Darby retreated 1.32 percent, Dialog Group declined 1.21 percent, Maxis surrendered 1.18 percent, Tenaga Nasional sank 1.17 percent, Public Bank dropped 0.99 percent, IHH Healthcare shed 0.89 percent, Genting Malaysia advanced 0.83 percent, MISC lost 0.60 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong fell 0.49 percent, Press Metal rose 0.24 percent, Sime Darby Plantations eased 0.19 percent and IOI Corporation was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks bounced back and forth across the unchanged line on Tuesday, finally settling with modest gains.

The Dow added 60.00 points or 0.19 percent to finish at 31,068.69, while the NASDAQ gained 36.00 points or 0.28 percent to end at 13.072.43 and the S&P 500 rose 1.58 points or 0.04 percent to close at 3,801.19.

Political concerns, rising coronavirus cases and uncertainty about near term trend for the market after an historic climb weighed on stocks.

Amid FBI warning about possible armed protests across the United States in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, a state of emergency has been declared in the District of Columbia.

Optimism about further economic stimulus in the U.S. and the rollout of coronavirus vaccines helped to nudge the markets higher. Investors are also looking ahead to quarterly earnings results.

Crude oil prices moved higher Tuesday, boosted by a weak dollar and Saudi Arabia's decision to cut production in the next two months. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February ended up $0.96 or 1.8 percent at $53.21 a barrel.

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