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Little Movement Expected For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market on Wednesday snapped the two-day slide in which it had eased more than 6 points or 0.4 percent. The Kuala Composite Index now rests just above the 1,600-point plateau and it's likely to remain in that neighborhood again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat amid a lack of catalysts, although crude oil offers mild support. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and the Asian bourses are expected to follow suit.

The KLCI finished sharply higher on Wednesday following gains from the financial shares, plantation stocks and glove makers.

For the day, the index climbed 21.68 points or 1.37 percent to finish at the daily high of 1,600.59 after trading as low as 1,580.90. Volume was 6.303 billion shares worth 3.619 billion ringgit. There were 590 gainers and 440 decliners.

Among the actives, Axiata soared 2.98 percent, while CIMB Group advanced 1.16 percent, Dialog Group rose 0.33 percent, Digi.com surged 3.31 percent, Genting added 1.15 percent, Genting Malaysia strengthened 0.96 percent, Hartalega Holdings perked 1.20 percent, IHH Healthcare gathered 1.89 percent, IOI Corporation accelerated 2.88 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong added 044 percent, Maybank climbed 2.05 percent, Maxis rallied 2.45 percent, MISC gained 1.02 percent, PPB Group eased 0.11 percent, Press Metal perked 0.40 percent, Public Bank collected 0.48 percent, RHB Capital increased 0.75 percent, Sime Darby improved 0.83 percent, Sime Darby Plantations skyrocketed 4.68 percent, Supermax jumped 2.28 percent, Telekom Malaysia was up 0.49 percent, Tenaga Nasional rose 0.98 percent, Top Glove spiked 2.94 percent and Petronas Chemicals was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as the major averages spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before ending mixed and little changed.

The Dow rose 16.02 points or 0.05 percent to finish at 33,446.26, while the NASDAQ eased 9.54 points or 0.07 percent to end at 13,688.84 and the S&P 500 was up 6.01 points or 0.15 percent to close at 4,079.95.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders sought more clarity about the near-term outlook for the markets - which have risen to record highs in recent sessions, but traders may be worried the markets are becoming overbought.

Traders also kept an eye on the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting, although the central bank only reiterated that it is unlikely to change its ultra-loose monetary policy anytime soon.

On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department reported that the U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in February.

Crude oil futures settled higher on Wednesday, supported by data showing a drop in U.S. crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended up $0.44 or 0.7 percent at $59.77 a barrel.

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