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Malaysia Stock Market May Find Traction On Thursday

The Malaysia stock market on Wednesday ended the two-day winning streak in which it had retreated more than 20 points or 1.3. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,635-point plateau and it figures to hold steady in that neighborhood again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky, with upside limited by political uncertainty and falling oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and little changed and the Asian bourses figure to follow that lead.

The KLCI finished sharply higher on Wednesday following gains from the financial shares and industrials, while the glove makers were down on profit taking.

For the day, the index climbed 24.65 points or 1.53 percent to finish at 1,636.69 after trading between 1,617.68 and 1,637.31. Volume was 7.123 billion shares worth 5.105 billion ringgit. There were 950 gainers and 308 decliners.

Among the actives, Public Bank skyrocketed 6.57 percent, while CIMB Group surged 3.83 percent, Maybank soared 3.75 percent, Genting spiked 3.15 percent, Petronas Chemicals accelerated 3.06 percent, RHB Capital rallied 2.63 percent, Supermax plummeted 2.60 percent, Genting Malaysia jumped 2.47 percent, IHH healthcare plunged 1.80 percent, Telekom Malaysia tanked 1.79 percent, Sime Darby climbed 1.78 percent, Hartalega Holdings and Hap Seng both tumbled 1.07 percent, MISC gathered 1.05 percent, Dialog Group perked 0.92 percent, Tenaga Nasional advanced 0.79 percent, Top Glove sank 0.75 percent, Axiata added 0.54 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong gained 0.33 percent, PPB Group rose 0.32 percent, Digi.com increased 0.25 percent, Maxis improved 0.20 percent, Press Metal was up 0.12 percent, Petronas Gas eased 0.12 percent and Hong Leong Financial, Sime Darby Plantations and IOI Corporation were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks bounced back and forth across the unchanged line on Wednesday, finally ending mixed.

The Dow eased 8.22 points or 0.03 percent to finish at 31,060.47, while the NASDAQ added 56.52 points or 0.43 percent to end at 13,128.95 and the S&P 500 rose 8.65 points or 0.23 percent to close at 3,809.84.

The higher close by the NASDAQ and the S&P came as treasuries rebounded following recent weakness, leading to a drop in bond yields and contributed to significant strength among interest rate sensitive stocks like utilities and properties.

Buying interest was subdued as political uncertainty kept some traders on the sidelines as House Democrats impeached President Donald Trump for a second time over allegations that he incited last week's violent attack on the U.S. Capitol building.

In economic news, the Labor Department said U.S. consumer prices increased in line with estimates last month. Also, the Federal Reserve released its Beige Book, which said economic activity has increased modestly.

Crude oil futures fell on Wednesday as concerns about the outlook for energy demand amid the continued rise in coronavirus cases and tighter restrictions on movements hurt oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February sank $0.30 or 0.6 percent at $52.91 a barrel.

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