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Bursa Malaysia to consolidate

KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia  is expected to consolidate as investors price in the probability of a US interest rate hike from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting scheduled for March.

Affin Hwang Investment Bank vice-president/head of Retail Research, Datuk Dr Nazri Khan Adam Khan said investors are forecasting four interest rate hikes for the year, although the FOMC meeting left the interest rate unchanged.

“The day of low interest rates has ended and Bank Negara Malaysia has also revised the overnight policy rate.The US is also expected to do the same, especially with inflation anticipated to rise this year,” he told Bernama.

He said, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) would likely be at the 1,860-level.

Commenting on the stocks, Nazri Khan said banking stocks would receive a spillover effect, as the local banking industry’s loan growth is expected to rise by four per cent.

For the week just-ended, Bursa Malaysia traded mixed, reflecting its Asian peers.

Bursa Malaysia was closed on Wednesday and Thursday for the Thaipusam and Federal Territories Day holidays respectively.

On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the FBM KLCI rose 16.56 points to end the week at 1,870.48.

The FBM Emas Index added 2.08 points to 13,376.58 and the FBMT 100 Index increased 25.0 points to 13,071.72, as the FBM Emas Shariah Index gained 605.10 points to 13,651.82.The FBM 70 was down 274.98 points to 16,468.18 and the FBM Ace fell 177.80 points to 6,496.13.

On a sectoral basis, the Finance Index surged 308.21 points to 17,979.58, the Plantation Index slid 24.81 points to 8,056.40 and the Industrial Index fell 10.80 points to 3,387.41.

Total turnover slipped to 6.52 billion units valued at RM6.15 billion from 17.38 billion units valued at RM12.98 billion last week.

The Main Market narrowed to 5.63 billion units worth RM8.11 billion from 11.21 billion units valued at RM11.77 billion.

Warrants turnover fell to 1.61 billion units valued at RM243 million from 3.35 billion units worth at RM1.40 billion.

The ACE Market narrowed to 1.60 billion units worth RM275.57 million from 2.45 billion shares valued at RM628.96 million. — Bernama