Caution set to continue next week on Bursa Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR – Bursa Malaysia is likely to see cautious trading next week with investors’ attention focused on US inflation data scheduled for March 14.

SPI Asset Management managing director Stephen Innes said for now, risks appear skewed towards a hawkish pivot on interest rates by the US Federal Reserve (Fed).

“Bursa Malaysia’s direction will depend on the upcoming US macro data of the consumer price index (CPI) and non-farm payrolls (NFP) which will determine whether the Fed will stick to its previous 25 basis points hiking pace in the next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting scheduled on March 21-22,” he told Bernama.

He expects the FBM KLCI to trend at the 1,425-1,450 level next week.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of equity research Thong Pak Leng said despite the global volatility, there might be bargain-hunting opportunities as the benchmark index is near an oversold position.

Bursa Malaysia experienced volatile trading throughout this week on weaker sentiment from Wall Street as well as regional peers despite Bank Negara Malaysia’s decision to retain the overnight policy rate at 2.75 per cent for a second consecutive time.

The local bourse ended at the intraday low yesterday.

On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the FBM KLCI declined 20.47 points to end at 1,433.08 from last week’s 1,453.55.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index fell 138.42 points to 10,450.01, the FBMT 100 Index slid 138.27 points to 10,131.49 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index went down 141.07 points to 10,672.97.

The FBM 70 Index dipped 153.72 points to 13,292.89, and the FBM ACE Index was 98.94 points lower at 5,327.79.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index trimmed 198.75 points to 15,964.98, the Plantation Index dumped 68.23 points to 6,762.77 and the Energy Index slid 14.48 points to 857.25.

The Industrial Products and Services Index gave up 4.72 points to 172.93.

Weekly turnover declined to 14,02 billion units worth RM9.72 billion against 16.79 billion units worth RM10.89 billion last Friday.

The Main Market volume slid to 9.24 billion shares valued at RM8.16 billion from 10.35 billion shares valued at RM9.02 billion a week ago.

Warrant turnover fell slightly to 1.76 billion units worth RM303.70 million from 1.90 billion units worth RM297.03 million previously.

The ACE Market volume decreased to three billion shares worth RM1.24 billion from 4.16 billion shares worth RM1.56 billion. – Bernama / pic TMR File