The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside in light trade as investors have become more optimistic while several bourses remain closed for the Lunar New Year.
Ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, the Malaysia stock market had finished higher in three straight sessions, gathering more than 25 points or 1.6 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index now rests just beneath the 1,600-point plateau and it may add to its winnings again on Monday. The European and U.S. markets were modestly higher on Friday and the Asian markets are tipped to open in a similar fashion.
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The KLCI finished slightly higher in Thursday's half-session following mixed performances from the financials, telecoms, and glove makers.
For the day, the index rose 2.57 points 0.16 percent to finish at 1,599.42 after trading between 1,594.52 and 1,602.50. Volume was 3.21 billion shares worth 2.048 billion ringgit. There were 574 gainers and 383 decliners.
Among the actives, Tenaga Nasional surged 3.18 percent, while Axiata soared 1.78 percent, Hong Leong Financial spiked 1.76 percent, RHB Capital plummeted 1.48 percent, MISC plunged 1.42 percent, IOI Corporation tanked 1.39 percent, Hong Leong Bank accelerated 0.99 percent, Supermax rallied 0.97 percent, Petronas Chemicals tumbled 0.79 percent, Telekom Malaysia skidded 0.75 percent, Dialog Group jumped 0.65 percent, Hartalega Holdings sank 0.63 percent, Maybank dropped 0.62 percent, Sime Darby Plantations shed 0.60 percent, Top Glove climbed 0.49 percent, Public Bank collected 0.47 percent, Genting and Sime Darby both lost 0.45 percent, Kuala Lumpur Kepong fell 0.43 percent, PPB Group advanced 0.43 percent, Maxis was down 0.41 percent, Press Metal added 0.35 percent, Digi.com gained 0.27 percent and CIMB Group, IHH Healthcare and Genting Malaysia were unchanged.