Bursa Malaysia to trend sideways next week

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 – Bursa Malaysia is expected to trade sideways next week, with the benchmark index moving between 1,760 and 1,780 points due to mixed market sentiment from both local and external factors. Affin Hwang Investment Bank Vice-President and Head of Retail Research Datuk Dr Nazri Khan Adam Khan said the market would remain cautious following simmering tensions between US President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans over policy issues. 

He also said that it will creating doubts on his ability to push his economic agenda. Therefore, he also added that the Barcelona terrorist attack at iconic Las Ramblas tourist hotspot in Spain has also exacerbated uncertainties surrounding the equities market.

However, Nazri said the domestic factor was still good with the ringgit still holding at the 4.30 level against the US dollar, appreciated by 4.5% from January this year, coupled with steady commodity prices with crude oil hovering above US$50 (RM215) a barrel and crude palm oil above RM2,500 a tonne.

“Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product growth of 5.8% in second quarter of this year indicates (positive) momentum in economic growth. This is above expectation, considering consensus forecast of about 5.4% among economists. I see the local factors to be supporting the market next week, while the external factors have potential to drag it down, prompting the market to move sideways,” he said.

Nazri said the FBM KLCI gained 8.3% year-to-date, the best annual gains in four years. “Despite all the challenges and political noise, Malaysia’s economy is still holding very well,” he added. For the week just-ended, the benchmark FBM KLCI gained 9.26 points to 1,776.22 from 1,766.96 last week.

In the meanwhile, the trading movement was influenced by external development, particularly the movement on Wall Street which took the cue from the Federal Reserve’s minute, political turmoil surrounding Trump administration, as well as a terrorist attack in Spain.

On a weekly basis, the FBM Emas Index was 123.78 points higher at 12,626.22, the FBMT 100 Index increased 108.34 points to 12,284.26, the FBM Emas Syariah Index rose 158.41 points to 12,770.88, the FBM 70 surged 299.36 points to 14,992.91, and the FBM Ace advanced 203.22 points to 6,512.

On a sectoral basis, the Finance Index was up 59.62 points to 16,777.48, the Plantation Index added 37.15 points to 7,825, while the Industrial Index eased 3.82 points to 3,230.28. Total turnover slipped to 8.30 billion units worth RM8.75 billion from 8.45 billion units valued at RM9.08 billion last week.

Main Market volume declined to 4.83 billion shares worth RM7.91 billion from 5.57 billion shares valued at RM8.35 billion last Friday. Warrants volume surged to 1.30 billion units worth RM180.59 million from 826.86 million units valued at RM125.62 million previously. The ACE Market turnover rose to 2.10 billion shares worth RM644.49 million from 1.99 billion shares valued at RM568.7 million. — Bernama

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