KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia's benchmark index, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI), is expected to move higher this week, riding on better market sentiment coupled with optimism over a positive corporate earnings season.
Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng said the valuations of Malaysian equities are still cheaper compared with regional peers, hence, they offer better upside potential for foreign investors.
However, investors should stay alert on the increasing market volatility and uncertainty, he said, citing external developments such as the United States (US) debt ceiling revision would be under investors' radar.
"Additionally, we believe some investors will shift their attention to corporate earnings (announcements) as the results season heats up from next week onwards.
"As such, we expect the FBM KLCI to trade within range of between 1,420 and 1,435 for this week. On a technical point of view, we see immediate resistance at 1,440 and support at 1,415," he told Bernama.
On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the FBM KLCI increased 5.62 points to end the week at 1,428.54 from last week's 1,422.92.
The local bourse staged a volatile trading pattern during the week, mainly influenced by external factors including worries over the US debt ceiling situation and the release of China economic data - retail sales and industrial production.
On the index board, the FBM Emas Index increased 59.10 points to 10,474.75, the FBMT 100 Index advanced 58.97 points to 10,170.36, the FBM Emas Shariah Index gained 53.59 points to 10,829.51, the FBM 70 Index surged 157.59 points to 13,645.75, while the FBM ACE Index garnered 18.42 points to 5,002.9.
Sector-wise, the Plantation Index rose 69.89 points to 7,026.55, the Energy Index put on 10.14 points to 839.53, while the Financial Services Index climbed 92.95 points to 15,606.23.
However, the Industrial Products and Services Index slipped 2.13 points to 164.99.
Weekly turnover decreased to 13.33 billion units valued at RM8.18 billion versus 15.43 billion units valued at RM8.75 billion last week.
The Main Market volume declined to 8.39 billion shares worth RM7.05 billion compared with 9.67 billion shares worth RM7.25 billion in the previous week.
Warrants turnover expanded to 1.85 billion units valued at RM288.01 million from 1.64 billion units valued at RM264.73 million a week ago.
The ACE Market volume shrank to 3.08 billion shares worth RM830.39 million from 4.11 billion shares worth RM1.24 billion last week.