KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 ― Bursa Malaysia is expected to continue its uptrend next week on improved sentiment despite regional market volatility, an analyst said.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd vice-president of equity research Thong Pak Leng said the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) is expected to move in the 1,570 to 1,585 range.

“From a technical point of view, immediate resistance is unchanged at 1,600 while support is at 1,570,” he told Bernama.

FBM KLCI ended the week with a third consecutive intraday high, supported by growing buying interest and bargain-hunting activities.

On Friday, the benchmark index advanced by 0.56 per cent, or 8.79 points, to close at 1,578.89, lifted mainly by banking, plantation and telecommunication counters.

The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) yesterday announced that Malaysia's economy grew by 3.6 per cent in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021, driven by the recovery in domestic demand following the resumption of economic activities.

It said that overall, Malaysia’s economic performance in 2021 revealed a recovery momentum with a growth of 3.1 per cent, compared to a decline of 5.6 per cent in 2020.

Thong said the gross domestic product (GDP) data came in below expectations, but the prospect of the reopening of borders will be positive for other sectors.

“We expect that the economic performance in the first quarter of 2022 should be much better,” said Thong.

For the week just ended, Bursa Malaysia trended mostly higher on improved sentiment and increased buying interest despite heightened market volatility in the region.

On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the FBM KLCI gained 56.13 points to end the week at 1,578.89 from 1,522.76 last week.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index was up 360.85 points to 11,320.42, the FBMT100 Index added 357.80 points to 11,000.73, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index advanced 373.58 points to 12,040.39.

The FBM 70 expanded 302.04 points to 13,781.29, and the FBM ACE rose 159.21 points to 6,344.95.

Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index gained 510.96 points to 16,296.65, the Plantation Index added 670.56 points to 7,214.42, while the Energy Index eased 1.15 points to 788.79.

The Industrial Products and Services Index climbed 7.64 points to 210.94, the Technology Index inched up 2.39 points to 83.88, and the Healthcare Index firmed 24.26 points to 2,186.72.

Weekly turnover improved to 15.28 billion units worth RM12.03 billion from 5.70 billion units worth RM4.36 billion in the previous week.

The Main Market advanced to 9.47 billion shares valued at RM10.72 billion versus 3.80 billion shares valued at RM3.78 billion.

Warrants volume expanded to 1.74 billion units worth RM200.92 million from 589.12 million units worth RM200.11 million previously.

The ACE Market volume jumped to 4.05 billion shares worth RM1.11 billion against 1.31 billion shares worth RM521.37 million in the previous week. ― Bernama