Bursa gallery REVIEW: The tussle between two trading themes - vaccine roll-out and impending lockdown - is keeping the market on edge, even as the bulls seem to have got the upper hand. As the US shipped out the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine over the weekend, the growing number of coronavirus cases have put major cities around the world in lockdown. The threat of a full shutdown has been raised in New York while London has moved into its highest level of coronavirus restrictions. Helping to prod the bulls along in global markets is the prospect of US fiscal stimulus, which if passed, would alleviate the symptoms of economic restrictions in the interim period before inoculation against the virus takes effect. For the time being, the increasing likelihood of a US stimulus package being approved by lawmakers before Christmas is keeping equities at elevated levels of trading. Fervent retail traders on Bursa Malaysia have latched on to the optimistic investment outlook. On Tuesday, the passage of Budget 2021 following the final vote in Parliament averted a renewed political crisis and raised the cap on equities prices. Coupled with year-end window-dressing activities, the market came within sight of 1,700 points, which remains within reach as we enter the final two weeks of 2020, correction pressures notwithstanding. Sentiment on the Malaysian bourse remains high although the toppish levels of equities prices also mean investors have their finger ready on the exit button. The 21-point slump on the FBM KLCI on Monday indicated that swift profit-taking could easily overwhelm the market in the event of any negative development given that the Covid-19 crisis remains far from over. While the FBM KLCI subsequently rebounded on Tuesday and Wednesday, it remained below the 1,680 resistance, suggesting that the market was taking a breather from the recent gains. By Thursday, it appeared the Malaysian market was ready for a correction. Despite overnight news that progress was made among US policymakers towards a further stimulus package, the FBM KLCI drifted lower by 7.06 points to 1,674.35. The rally in financial stocks was seen stumbling. The Bursa Malaysia Financial Services Index showed signs of cracking after the rally stalled on Wednesday and succumbed to profit-taking on Thursday. On Friday, profit-taking gained speed, pushed along by the Securities Commission’s announcement that it will uplift the temporary suspension on regulated short-selling on Jan 1,2021. The FBM KLCI tumbled 21.86 points to 1,652.49. Statistics: The major index ended the week 32.09 points or 1.9% lower over the previous Friday at 1,652.49. Total turnover for the trading week stood at 50.37 billion shares amounting to RM26.15bil compared with 57.76 billion shares worth RM31.32bil in the previous trading week. Outlook: The FBM KLCI’s decline on Friday took it as low as the 14-day simple moving average at 1,645. It is promising that the short-term SMA held intact as the index remains trading above all the key moving average indicators. A decline on the index was expected given the steep recovery that began at the start of November. However given the resilience of the support, the uptrend remains intact while the momentum indicators are holding at reasonable levels. The slow-stochastic has fallen to near 43 points while the 14-day relative strength index has dropped to at 52 points after retreating from overbought levels. The neutralisation of the indicators could be setting the stage for a rebound over the coming week. In the event the selling pressure intensifies over the coming week and the 14-day SMA fails to hold, support is pegged to 1,620 and 1,600. Should the index rebound, resistance for the stock is found at 1,700 and 1,730.
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