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Monday, November 1, 2010

ZLBT's Morning Markets Round-up

Latest Regional Market Update
# Japan's Nikkei 225 Index Opens Higher; Currently Up 56 Points To 9,258
# South Korea's KOSPI Opens Higher; Presently Up 7 Points To 1,890
# Australia's All Ordinaries Index Is Currently Up 26 Points To 4,759
# New Zealand's NZX All Capital Index Is Presently Up 2 Points To 3,340
# Steady Open Tipped For Singapore Shares.

Quiet Trade Expected For Malaysian Market
The Malaysian stock market has finished higher now in five straight sessions, collecting more than 15 points or 1 percent along the way. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index finished just above the 1,505-point plateau, and now investors are expected to remain largely on the sidelines when the market opens on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets calls for little activity ahead of two key events this week in the United States: Tuesday's mid-term elections and Wednesday's announcement from the FOMC on expected further stimulus. Gold stocks are expected to rise as a safe haven, while property and steel also may provide support. The European and U.S. markets ended mixed but little changed, and the Asian markets are expected to follow the same path.

The KLCI finished modestly higher on Friday, pushed into the green by gains from the financial shares and properties - although profit taking from the plantation sector curbed the overall upside.

For the day, the index added 6.22 points or 0.41 percent to finish at the daily high of 1505.66 after dipping as low as 1,497.72. Volume was 1462.58 million shares worth 2342.71 million ringgit. There were 436 gainers and 380 decliners.Among the actives, CIMB, Axiata, Genting and MISC all finished higher, while Public Bank, IOI Corporation, Sime Darby and MAS all ended lower.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks turned in a lackluster performance on Friday, with subdued trading activity ahead of this week's expected quantitative easing announcement from the Federal Reserve, the results of the mid-term elections and the Labor Department's monthly employment report. The day's tepid economic data, including an in-line reading on third-quarter GDP, also contributed to the choppy trading visible over the course of the session.

The Commerce Department said that gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.0 percent in the third quarter following the 1.7 percent growth in the second quarter - in line with expectations. Also, Reuters and the University of Michigan reported that their consumer sentiment index for October was downwardly revised to a reading of 67.7 while economists had expected an upward revision to 68.0.

Finally, the Institute for Supply Management - Chicago said its Chicago business barometer rose 0.2 points to a reading 60.6 in October, with a reading above 50 indicating growth. Economists expected a drop to a reading of 58.0.On the earnings front, tech giant Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) said that its first quarter profit rose 51 percent from last year, driven by solid enterprise growth and continued strong consumer demand for its Windows 7 operating system and Office 2010 software. The company's quarterly earnings came in above analyst expectations as did its quarterly revenue.

Monster Worldwide Inc. (MWW) gained 26 percent as its third quarter revenues topped estimates and the firm boosted its fourth quarter revenue guidance to between $258 million and $272 million. Analysts forecast the company to report sales of $251.8 million.

The major averages ended the session mixed, although all three moved by less than 0.1 percent on the day. While the S&P 500 slipped 0.52 points to 1,183.26, the Dow rose 4.54 points to 11,118.49 and the NASDAQ inched up 0.04 points to 2,507.41. For the week, the NASDAQ rose by 1.1 percent, while the Dow edged down by 0.1 percent and the S&P 500 showed almost no change.

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