STOCK prices in Kuala Lumpur closed higher in extremely volatile trading after the market plunged in the morning. ''It's quite worrying,'' said a senior investment analyst. ''I haven't seen the market so volatile for quite a while.'' The Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange Composite Index gained 7.14 points to 708.80, ending a three-day losing streak, having fallen more than 26 points in the morning. The fall beyond the psychological 700 to 675.51 took it 75 points below its record intra-day high set on June 14 and to its lowest for more than nine weeks. The previous lower figure was set on April 20, when the index stood at 672.53. Dealers said margin calls by banks - forcing investors to repay loans - led to forced selling in the morning, especially by investors in Singapore. ''Once the selling for margin calls stopped, the market came back,'' said one observer. Analysts said investors were also cheered by the KLSE chairman's vow to discipline brokerages that placed ''excessive'' restrictions on trading. SINGAPORE PRICES recouped almost all their sharp morning losses on bargain hunting of blue chips, but brokers said investors would stay cautious in the near term. ''We saw buying from longer term investors but there is no doubt a lot of punters out there will be unable to pick up their shares in a falling market,'' T.K. Yap, head of sales at Peregrine Securities, said. The 30-share Straits Times Industrial Index closed 0.77 points up at 1,771.67 after falling to a low for the day of 1,721.97. ''Investors who were overly speculative in Malaysian shares had a bloodbath out there,'' a local brokerage's director said. He said more selling of Malaysian shares was likely on Monday. TAIPEI STOCKS finished higher across the board and turnover rose as a technical rebound continued from Wednesday, brokers said. The Weighted Index ended up 50.11 points, 1.2 per cent, at 4,182.28 as turnover expanded to NT$20.2 billion from Wednesday's $16.8 billion. Thursday was a public holiday. ''Market sentiment has improved from last week, but profit-taking pressure is increasing too,'' said Hong Chi-ming of Top Soon Portfolio Securities. TOKYO STOCKS ended a touch weaker in quiet trade on dealer position-squaring and futures-linked selling, giving up earlier gains on public funds buying, brokers said. The market seemed to have digested political turmoil yet lacked a sense of direction. ''Investors were hesitant to move ahead of the weekend,'' said a broker at a second-tier brokerage. ''The yen's level was not high enough to trigger selling by foreign investors. But they will start selling when the yen jumps again.'' The 225-share Nikkei Average was down 25.5 points, 0.13 per cent, to 19,659.57. SEOUL PROFIT-TAKING in shares of small and medium-sized firms and labour disputes at Hyundai group companies pulled Seoul stocks down in moderate trading, brokers said. ''Profit-taking occurred today. A short consolidation period is expected from now,'' said Choi Bum at Seoul Securities. He said he expected the period to end next Tuesday, to be followed by a rally bringing the index as high as 800. The Composite Stock Index closed 2.94 points lower at 793.84. SYDNEY THE Australian share market closed marginally higher, as strength in BHP following its good profit results offset weakness in some blue chips. The market's key indicator held above the psychologically important 1,700 level in late trade, closing up just 0.7 points at 1,700.4, after opening 5.1 points higher. Options trading provided much of the day's trading volume. MANILA THE Philippine stock markets had mixed figures in lacklustre trading, traders said. The Composite Price Index at the Manila Stock Exchange slipped 0.35 per cent to close at 1,543.41, while the barometer at the rival Makati exchange added 0.2 per cent to settle at 1,577.25. A broker with securities house Wolff and Co said general pessimism was slowing the market. JAKARTA SHARE prices closed mixed in the usual Friday half-day session with moderate trade. The Composite Index ended 0.5 points higher to 358.89. BANGKOK THE Stock Exchange of Thailand Index could not break the 900-point barrier and investors took the chance to sell. But brokers thought the SET was likely to test 900 points again next week. ''The market has risen fast recently and there is still a gap for investors to make profit,'' said an analyst at Union Asia Finance. WELLINGTON A SHARP rise in Telecom shares to a record high pushed the New Zealand share market to a higher close. Turnover was again lacklustre but sentiment was swinging to the positive, brokers said. Brokers were unable to explain why Telecom rose so far. The NZSE-40 Index rose 14.15 to 1,655.29 on turnover of $36.5 million. The Chinese share prices are provided by Telerate. All other prices are provided by Reuter.