KUALA LUMPUR (March 13): Bursa Malaysia is expected to trade in cautious mode on downside bias next week, with the benchmark index hovering within a range of 1,600 to 1,625, while awaiting the US Federal Reserve (Fed) Meeting outcome for market direction, analysts said.
Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd economist Adam Mohamed Rahim said the investors will closely watch the Feds meeting on March 16 to 17 as it faced a tricky task of revving up the US economy without overheating the engine.
There were fears in the market that President Joe Biden’s huge US$1.9 trillion stimulus could surge inflation in the world’s biggest economy. Therefore, any hawkish stance from the Fed could send jitters to the market, he told Bernama.
Meanwhile, Axi chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said the local bourse barometer index will remain pressured on concerns due to US higher yields that will hurt longer term growth stocks.
But that should be offset by banks, oil and gas and reaping service sector counters that will benefit from the vaccine rollout.
The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) could hold above 1,600 level but broader markets’ performance will be very much dependent on how global assets respond to the Fed signals, he added. 
For the week just ended, the local bourse was traded higher for the first three days in extending last Fridays rebound, but succumbed to profit-taking for the last two days of trading.
It took the cue from the positive sentiment brought about by the surging crude oil prices and continued buying interest in financial stocks, while the ongoing selling pressure in healthcare and technology sectors had mildly weakened sentiment.
On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the benchmark FBM KLCI rose 15.57 points to 1,615.69 from last weeks 1,600.12.
On the scoreboard, the FBM Emas Index increased 166.87 points to 11,862.13, the FBMT 100 Index advanced 140.30 points to 11,538.87, the FBM 70 surged 300.35 points to 15,652.0, the FBM ACE Index jumped 257.20 points to 10,665.19, and the FBM Emas Shariah Index rose 200.17 points to 13,136.0
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index strengthened 97.12 points to 15,549.86, Industrial Products and Services Index expanded 7.26 points to 192.10 and the Energy Index added 50.78 points to 1,002.29.
The Plantation Index receded 26.64 points to 7,136.78, the Technology Index fell 1.26 points to 83.73 and the Healthcare Index gave up 116.34 points to 2,993.08.   
Turnover declined to 48.11 billion units worth RM30.34 billion from 51.97 billion units worth RM29.22 billion in the previous week.
Main Market volume expanded to 34.91 billion shares valued at RM26.72 billion versus 32.32 billion shares valued at RM24.22 billion last week.
Warrants turnover rose to 2.50 billion units worth RM423.31 million against 2.41 billion units worth RM415.24 million previously.
The ACE Market volume shrank 9.92 billion shares valued at RM2.83 billion from 17.24 billion shares valued at RM4.58 billion the week earlier.