Bursa Malaysia likely to see an uptrend next week

KUALA LUMPUR: Domestic consumption, on the back of demand as well as purchasing advantage will likely push Bursa Malaysia higher next week, with consumer-related stocks expected to do well, said an economist.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd Chief Economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said Malaysian consumers were upbeat with the latest consumer sentiment index surging more than 130 points in the 2018 second quarter after remaining below 100 points for 15 consecutive quarters.

"We can expect consumer spending to hold up well, especially when the inflation rate is projected to remain low between June to August.

"However, the threat from US-China trade tensions remains the wild card, alongside European governments taking retaliatory measures against automotive imports from the US and markets will stay cautious," he told Bernama.

Going forward, Mohd Afzanizam said an immediate important event would be the US Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates on Aug 1.

"We expect the Federal Open Market Committee statements to echo what has been communicated to the US Senate this week.We believe rates could be maintained at the present level, which may be positive for equity markets," he added.

Meanwhile on another note, according to reports on Friday, Malaysian billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan, and his former aide Ralph Marshall, as well as India's ex-Finance Minister P. Chidambaram as well as his son Karti Chidambaram, were named by the country's Central Bureau of Investigation for alleged irregularities in the Aircel-Maxis case.

The case revolves around the sale of Aircel to Maxis Communications, a 62.4% Ananda Krishnan- owned entity.

On Friday, Maxis Bhd's stock declined two sen to RM5.57, with 1,209,500 shares changing hands.

For the week just ended, Bursa Malaysia ended a nine-day positive streak on Friday in tracking regional peers, and influenced by the US-China trade tussle.

On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI was 32.74 points firmer at 1,754.67 from 1,721.93.

The FBM Emas Index surged 274.1 points to 12,420.31 and the FBMT100 Index soared 261.05 points to 12,209.08.

The FBM 70 climbed 449.61 points to 15,233.24, the FBM Emas Syariah Index bagged 270.75 points to 12,509.51 and the FBM Ace advanced 51.93 points to 5,403.27.

On a sectoral basis, the Plantation Index was 32.31 points easier at 7,480.23, and the Industrial Index rose 34.6 points at 3,214.16.

The Finance Index soared 291.97 points to 17,326.35 as investors reacted positively to Bank Negara Malaysia's decision to keep the overnight policy rate unchanged at 3.25 per cent during its meeting last Wednesday.

Weekly turnover widened to 13.39 billion units valued at RM11.86 billion from 12.04 billion units valued at RM11.66 billion.

Main market volume expanded to 8.22 billion shares valued at RM10.33 billion from 7.25 billion shares valued at RM10.37 billion.

Warrants turnover decreased to 3.00 billion units valued at RM873 million from 3.43 billion units valued at RM1 billion.

The ACE market volume rose to 2.15 billion shares valued at RM651.19 million from 1.35 billion shares valued at RM282.3 million. — Bernama