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Steady Start Seen For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market has finished lower in three straight sessions, sliding almost 15 points or 0.9 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,580-point plateau although it may find stability on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky ahead of the trade deal between the United States and China that is expected to be signed later this week. The European markets were barely higher and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KLCI finished slightly lower on Tuesday following losses from the financial shares and telecoms.

For the day, the index fell 4.13 points or 0.26 percent to finish at 1,580.60 after trading between 1,571.89 and 1,587.47. Volume was 2.7 billion shares worth 1.8 billion ringgit. There were 541 decliners and 336 gainers.

Among the actives, Sime Darby Plantations plummeted 2.21 percent, while Hong Leong Bank tumbled 2.09 percent, AMMB Holdings plunged 1.53 percent, IOI Corporation surged 0.86 percent, Maxis soared 0.55 percent, IHH Healthcare spiked 0.54 percent, RHB Capital skidded 0.51 percent, Tenaga Nasional dropped 0.46 percent, Sime Darby climbed 0.45 percent, Top Glove jumped 0.43 percent, Public Bank sank 0.42 percent, CIMB Group shed 0.38 percent, Genting lost 0.32 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong and Axiata both lost 0.24 percent, Digi.com fell 0.22 percent, Press Metal added 0.20 percent, Petronas Chemicals slid 0.14 percent, MISC eased 0.12 percent and Petronas Gas, PPB Group, Dialog Group, Malaysia Airports Holdings, Maybank and Genting Malaysia all were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as the markets showed a lack of direction on Tuesday, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before eventually closing mixed.

The Dow added 32.62 points or 0.11 percent to finish at 28,939.67, while the NASDAQ lost 22.60 points or 0.24 percent to 9,251.33 and the S&P 500 fell 4.98 points or 0.15 percent to 3,283.15.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders seemed reluctant to make big moves following quarterly results from several big-name financial companies as JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and
Citigroup (C) beat the street while Wells Fargo (WFC) missed badly.

Stocks saw some volatility in afternoon trading on reports that tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese goods are likely to remain in place until after the U.S. elections in November.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department said consumer prices in the U.S. increased by slightly less than anticipated in December.

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