Malaysia 2Q GDP numbers awaited as investors watch corporate earnings

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 17): Key highlights today include the announcement on Malaysia's second quarter economic performance as investors continue to take cue from local corporate earnings. Overnight US share gains may be indicative of the Malaysian stock market's direction today. 
 
The Malaysian economy, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), is closely watched for clues on the country's monetary policy, which will influence the direction of financial markets. The nation's GDP grew 5.4% in the first quarter of 2018 from a year earlier, according to Bank Negara Malaysia.

Today, investors will continue to take cue from local corporate earnings for the April-to-June quarter as the current corporate financial reporting season progresses. Companies' reported earnings will offer clues on their future performance and stock valuations.

Yesterday, the FBM KLCI fell 8.67 points to close at 1,777.27. The ringgit was traded at 4.1027 against the US dollar.

Overnight in the US, Reuters reported that US stocks rebounded on Thursday with the Dow posting its biggest percentage gain in over four months, as positive earnings and waning trade jitters buoyed investor confidence. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 396.32 points, or 1.58%, to 25,558.73, the S&P 500 gained 22.32 points, or 0.79%, to 2,840.69 and the Nasdaq Composite added 32.41 points, or 0.42%, to 7,806.52.