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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

ZLBT Morning Markets Round-up

Malaysian Shares May See Profit Taking
The Malaysian stock market has finished higher now in three straight sessions, collecting more than a dozen points in the process. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index finished just below the 1,520-point plateau, and now investors are investors are expecting a mild easing at the opening of trade on Tuesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed with a touch of weakness as gold and oil are expected to see solid support, while selling among the airlines and financials may weigh on investors. The European and U.S. bourses ended mixed but little changed, and the Asian markets are expected to follow a similar pattern.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Monday, thanks to solid gains from the industrial issues, financial shares and plantation stocks. For the day, the index added 8.10 points or 0.54 percent to finish at 1,519.84 after trading between 1,517.01 and 1,522.77. Volume was 1.520 billion shares worth 2.252 billion ringgit.. There were 592 gainers and 289 decliners, with 253 stocks finishing unchanged. Among the gainers, Kulim, Kuala Lumpur Kepong, IOI Corporation, Sime Darby, Sunrise, Maybank, CIMB, Genting and Maxis all finished higher.

The lead from Wall Street provides little clarity as stocks saw a lackluster session on Monday, ending mostly lower as the lack of any significant economic news gave traders a chance to take some profits. Nonetheless, some economic optimism left over after last week's strong October jobs number may have limited the pullback.

In corporate news, McDonald's Corp. (MCD) said its October global comparable sales - a measure of sales at all restaurants open for at least a year - grew 6.5 percent, driven by growth across all market segments. Meanwhile, the company's system-wide sales for the month grew by 7.4 percent.Specialty chemicals company Ashland Inc. (ASH) also announced the signing of a definitive agreement to sell its global distribution business to private equity firm TPG Capital for $930 million.

In earnings news, food wholesaler Sysco (SYY) posted first-quarter net income that was in-line with expectations, while its quarterly sales rose by more than 7 percent, topping forecasts.Also, Dynegy Inc. (DYN) reported a wider than expected third-quarter net loss due to asset impairment charges, while its quarterly revenues exceeded Wall Street estimates by a margin totaling over $100 million.

Finally, online travel company priceline.com Inc. (PCLN) said third-quarter profit declined by 30 percent from last year. The Norwalk, Connecticut-based company posted GAAP net income of $223.0 million or $4.41 per share for the third quarter, down from $319.0 million or $6.42 per share in the prior year quarter.

The major averages saw some downside in late-session dealing, although the tech-heavy NASDAQ index managed to end the day with a modest gain. The NASDAQ inched up by 1.07 points or less than a tenth of a percent to close at 2,580.05, while the Dow slid by 37.24 points or 0.3 percent to 11,406.84 and the S&P 500 declined by 2.60 points or 0.2 percent to 1,223.25.

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