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Malaysia Bourse Poised To Add To Its Winnings

The Malaysia stock market has tracked higher in back-to-back trading days, advancing almost 25 points or 1.5 percent along the way. The Kuala Composite Index now rests just above the 1,600-point plateau and it's expected to open higher again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive, with technology stocks expected to lead the way. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian markets are tipped to open in similar fashion.

The KLCI finished barely higher on Thursday as huge gains from the glove makers were offset by weakness from everything else.

For the day, the index rose 1.81 points or 0.11 percent to finish at 1,602.40 after trading between 1,596.64 and 1,609.39. Volume was 7.596 billion shares worth 4.892 billion ringgit. There were 569 gainers and 505 decliners.

Among the actives, CIMB Group skidded 1.84 percent, while Dialog Group fell 0.65 percent, Genting retreated 1.33 percent, Genting Malaysia declined 1.27 percent, Hartalega Holdings soared 9.62 percent, IHH Healthcare tumbled 1.85 percent, IOI Corporation and Sime Darby Plantations both plunged 2.34 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong lost 0.79 percent, Maybank plummeted 2.36 percent, Maxis spiked 2.39 percent, MISC slid 0.43 percent, Petronas Chemicals tanked 1.89 percent, PPB Group dropped 0.96 percent, Press Metal was down 0.20 percent, Public Bank dipped 0.24 percent, RHB Capital eased 0.19 percent, Sime Darby shed 0.83 percent, Supermax skyrocketed 20.84 percent, Telekom Malaysia sank 0.98 percent, Tenaga Nasional surrendered 1.17 percent, Top Glove surged 9.98 percent and Axiata and Digi.com were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is upbeat as stocks moved mostly higher on Thursday - especially the tech-heavy NASDAQ.

The Dow added 57.31 points or 0.17 percent to finish at 33,503.57, while the NASDAQ jumped 140.47 points or 1.03 percent to end at 13,829.31 and the S&P 500 gained 17.22 points or 0.42 percent to close at 4,097.17.

The strength among tech stocks came following the Federal Reserve's repeated assurances that monetary policy is likely to remain unchanged for the foreseeable future.

Stocks saw continued strength following Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's remarks, which said the economic recovery remains uneven and incomplete and that further coronavirus outbreaks could slow the pace of the recovery.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department said first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased last week.

Crude oil prices eased on Thursday, weighed down by concerns about the outlook for energy demand due to rising coronavirus cases and lockdown measures in several countries. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for May dipped $0.17 or 0.3 percent at $59.60 a barrel.

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