RTTNews - The Malaysian stock market has finished higher now in five straight sessions, collecting more than 75 points or 6.5 percent in the process. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index is testing resistance at 1,140 points, and now investors are looking for the market to break through that barrier when the market kicks off trade on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is optimistic as bourses around the world continue to be buoyed by solid corporate earnings news. Commodities are tipped to extend their rebound after suffering through much of last week, while the airlines and properties also are due to rise. The European and U.S. markets all finished firmly in positive territory, and the Asian markets are projected to follow that lead.

The KLCI finished sharply higher on Monday, thanks to sharp gains from the financial stocks and the plantations, while the industrial issues also wound up above the unchanged line.

For the day, the index was up 18.35 points or 1.64 percent to close at 1,139.25 after trading between 1,120.90 and 1,140.00. Volume was 1.009 billion shares worth 1.591 billion ringgit. There were 484 gainers and 175 decliners, with 213 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the gainers, KNM, Axiata, Kinsteel, Tenaga, Telekom, Sime Darby and Maybank all finished higher.

The lead from Wall Street continues to be broadly positive as stocks posted strong gains on Monday, boosted by promising earnings results and reassuring news from commercial lending giant CIT Group (CIT). The major averages kicked off the week on a positive note, finishing in positive territory by solid margins.

In earnings news, Halliburton Co. (HAL), M&T Bank Corp. (MTB), Hasbro (HAS), Eaton (ETN) and Johnson Controls (JCI) all reported quarterly results that largely exceeded Wall Street expectations, bolstering trader optimism. This morning, some trader concern regarding the bankruptcy of CIT Group was alleviated, as the lending giant reportedly secured $3 billion in financing from some of its largest bondholders.

On the economic front today, the Conference Board released a report showing that its index of leading economic indicators increased by more than expected in June, although both the coincident index and lagging index continued to decline. The report showed that the leading indicators index increased by 0.7 percent in June following an upwardly revised 1.3 percent increase in May. Economists had expected the index to increase by 0.5 percent compared to the 1.2 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

In other news, Dennis Lockhart, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, predicted modest growth starting in the second half of the year, though he said there is not likely to be a strong recovery in the medium term.

The major averages saw further upside heading into the close, finishing near their best levels of the day. The Dow advanced by 104.21 points or 1.2 percent to 8,848.15, the NASDAQ climbed by 22.68 points or 1.2 percent to 1,909.29 and the S&P 500 rose by 10.74 points or 1.1 percent to 951.13.

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