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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

ZLBT's Pre-Market Morning Round-up

Little Change Expected For Malaysian Shares
The Malaysian stock market has finished higher now in six straight sessions, collecting nearly 20 points or 1.3 percent in the process. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index finished just below the 1,510-point plateau, and now investors are expected a steady open when the market kicks off trade on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets predicts little change 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. Oil stocks are expected to provide support, as are properties and steel companies - while financials and airlines are predicted to be weak. The European markets finished higher on Monday and the U.S. bourses were mixed but little changed - and the Asian markets are also expected to see a mixed open.

The KLCI finished slightly higher on Monday, thanks to mild upside from the financials, properties and plantations.For the day, the index added 4.0 points or 0.2 percent to finish at 1,509.66 after trading between 1,511.24 and 1,506.31. Volume was 1.27 billion shares worth 1.51 billion ringgit. There were 440 decliners and 344 gainers, with 316 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the gainers, CIMB, Genting, Sime Darby, IOI Corp, DiGi.com, Hong Leong Bank and Public Bank all finished higher.Wall Street offers little guidance as stocks saw a mixed close on Monday even as both U.S. and Chinese manufacturing activity unexpectedly picked up in October. The lack of direction came amid trader caution ahead of the upcoming elections, the Federal Reserve's anticipated quantitative easing measures and the forthcoming October jobs report, all scheduled to hit later this week.

Wall Street Updates
On the economic front, the Institute for Supply Management said its index of activity in the manufacturing sector rose to 56.9 in October from 54.4 in September, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the sector. Economists had expected a slide to a reading of 54.0. Among the other economic reports, the Commerce Department said that construction spending increased by 0.5 percent in September, while economists had been expecting a 0.7 percent decrease.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed that personal income edged down by 0.1 percent in September, while forecasts called for a 0.2 percent increase. On the other hand, personal spending increased by 0.2 percent, short of projections for a 0.4 percent increase. Two key reports showing an unexpected pickup in Chinese manufacturing activity in October helped stocks to a solid start this morning.

The major averages ended the session on opposite sides of the unchanged line, with the NASDAQ posting a modest loss. While the NASDAQ edged down 2.57 points or 0.1 percent to 2,504.84, the Dow inched up 6.13 points or 0.1 percent to 11,124.62 and the S&P 500 rose 1.12 points or 0.1 percent to 1,184.38.

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