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Malaysian shares rise as banks advance, Singapore stocks edge lower

Investors await new Fed chief's congressional testimony

KUALA LUMPUR (Nikkei Markets) -- Malaysian shares advanced Tuesday, helped by gains in banks. Singapore equities fell, as lenders pulled back before the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's congressional testimony.

Malaysia's FBM KLCI index climbed 0.6% to 1,871.46. CIMB Group added 1.3% and Malayan Banking closed 0.6% higher. The two heavyweight lenders are scheduled to release earnings on Wednesday. RHB Bank rose 1.3% after saying net profit surged by 76% in the fourth quarter, helped by lower provisions and currency profits. Hong Leong Bank ended up 3%, adding to its Monday's advance after its second-quarter earnings topped expectations. Its parent Hong Leong Financial Group closed 4% higher.

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