Malaysian shares are likely to move in a tight range next week, with investors reluctant to actively trade ahead of the year-end holidays, dealers said.
"The market was completely in a holiday mood. Stocks were just moving up and down, amid thin trading, with no certain direction," a dealer said.
The dealer said any gains next week would encourage investors to lock in profits, as there is lack of catalyst to follow-through.
However, the dealer expects the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (FBM KLCI) to move steady at between 1,250 and 1,280 next week.
The dealer also said the Malaysian bourse would be pressured by the strengthening US dollar, which will encourage investors, to shift funds to Japan or the United States for a higher yield.
The greenback is likely to be attractive after the US central bank kept its overnight lending rate unchanged, in a range of zero to 0.25 per cent.
However, the dealer did not foresee any huge impact as there was not much foreign holdings in the local stock market.
Another dealer said the local bourse would be generally quiet but the index may not fall sharply as investors still like banking and commodity stocks, amid a positive outlook for these sectors.
The banking sector is expected to perform well amid a healthy loan growth and the plantation industry due to good demand and prospects of tight supply.
For the holiday-shortened week, the market was quiet and traded within a tight range with players on leave for the school holidays.It was closed on Friday for the Awal Muharram (Muslim New Year) holiday.
On a Thursday-to-Friday basis, the FBM KLCI rose seven points to 1,266.97 from last week''s 1,260.
The FBM Emas Index increased 39.0 points to 8,432.99, the FBM Top 100 Index added 46.0 points to 8,255.25 and the FBM70 Index jumped 48.0 points to 8,153.35.However, the FBM Ace Index fell 45.0 points to 4,195.5.
The Finance Index was 96.0 points higher at 10,985.05, the Plantation Index jumped 112.0 points to 6,358.42 and the Industrial Index gained three points to 2,673.10.
A total of 2.388 billion shares worth RM3.456 billion changed hands for the week compared with the 3.035 billion shares worth RM4.142 billion previously.
Volume on the main market fell to 1.889 billion shares valued at RM3.328 billion against last week's 2.490 billion shares valued at RM3.940 billion.
However, the volume of call warrants declined to 73.442 million units worth RM11.860 million versus the 110.603 million units worth RM20.056 million before.
The ACE Market volume slipped to 273.072 million shares valued at RM95.118 million from the 286.857 million shares worth RM110.603 million the week last week.-- Bernama