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Rally May Stall For Malaysia Stock Market

The Malaysia stock market has finished higher in back-to-back trading days, collecting more than 20 points or 1.3 percent in that span. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just above the 1,455-point plateau although it may spin its wheels on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on renewed geopolitical concerns between the United States and China. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets are expected to follow the latter lead.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Thursday following gains from the plantations and industrials, while the financials were mixed.

For the day, the index picked up 5.77 points or 0.40 percent to finish at 1,457.50 after trading between 1,449.25 and 1,458.73. Volume was 6.905 billion shares worth 5.398 billion ringgit. There were 593 decliners and 395 gainers.

Among the actives, Genting Malaysia surged 3.14 percent, while Dialog Group soared2.97 percent, CIMB Group spiked 2.63 percent, Tenaga Nasional tumbled 2.46 percent, Hartalega Holdings accelerated 2.39 percent, Petronas Chemicals jumped 2.31 percent, Top Glove climbed 1.87 percent, Sime Darby gathered 1.44 percent, MISC skidded 1.09 percent, Axiata perked 1.08 percent, Press Metal sank 1.06 percent, Genting advanced 1.02 percent, Digi.com added 0.95 percent, RHB Capital gained 0.85 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong rose 0.73 percent, Malaysia Airports Holdings shed 0.41 percent, Public Bank lost 0.39 percent, Sime Darby Plantations increased 0.20 percent, IHH Healthcare was up 0.18 percent, Maybank collected 0.14 percent and IOI Corporation and Hong Leong Financial were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks opened higher on Thursday and stayed that way through much of the session before falling under pressure late and ending in the red.

The Dow shed 147.63 points or 0.58 percent to finish at 25,400.64, while the NASDAQ lost 43.37 points or 0.46 percent to end at 9,368.99 and the S&P 500 fell 6.40 points or 0.21 percent to close at 3,029.73.

The late-day pullback on Wall Street was attributed to President Donald Trump announcing plans to hold a news conference about China later today. China has recently stepped up efforts to curtail Hong Kong's independence, raising concerns that Trump may announce new measures that ramp up recent tensions with China.

The strength seen for much of the day came following the release of a report from the Labor Department showing a continued decrease in first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Thursday, driven by a drop in gasoline inventories in the U.S. amid an increase in demand thanks to reopening of businesses in almost all the states in the country. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended up $0.90 or 2.7 percent at $33.71 a barrel.

Closer to home, Malaysia will see April figures for producer prices later today; in March, producer prices were down 3.0 percent on month and 1.9 percent on year.

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