While uncertainties in the market are certain, this has not stopped investors and fund managers from attempting the absurd in order to hit a "home run" in their stock picks. One of the key themes that will come into play in 2017 will be the US President-elect Donald Trump's policies as well as a possible increase in the pace of rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve. This would lead to a stronger US dollar that could benefit some of the export players.
Thematic investing continues to include construction plays with the rollout of new major infrastructure projects in the country. There has also been a rising earnings prospect for the plantation sector as crude palm oil price remains high and output is expected to improve moving into the second half of 2017.
The oil and gas sector also sees a gradual improvement in sentiment following the gradual recovery in oil prices after the deal on production cut between the Opec and non-Opec members.
Higher tourist arrivals with 2017 being Asean@50 Year and as Malaysia plays host to the 2017 Southeast Asian Games and Asean Para Games could also benefit airlines, gaming and leisure sectors. A possible early general election in the country could also give a boost to the market. With external headwinds remaining dominant driving volatility, a defensive strategy remains prominent for the Malaysian equity markets.
The Edge Financial Daily has compiled a list of stock picks based on these investment themes.