Bursa Malaysia is likely to reverse some of its losses in the holiday shortened trading week after US shares rose on news that the world's largest economy is not heading towards a recession.
It was reported in the much awaited speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke on Friday, that the US economy was not deteriorating fast to warrant an additional stimulus.
His speech saw Wall Street's Dow Jones Industrial Average jump by 466.89 points, or 4.3 percent, to end the week at 11,284.54.
Bernanke was also quoted as saying that although the central bank had many tools to stimulate the economy, most of the burden for ensuring a solid foundation for long-term growth were with the government.
"Following which, we could see some bargain hunting here, but it could be short-lived as investors remain jittery and fundamentals weak," said an analyst, pointing to the ongoing sovereign crisis in the Eurozone.
Bursa Malaysia will be closed from Tuesday-Thursday for Hari Raya and the National Day celebrations. Trading on Monday will only be for a half day.
Investors, the analyst said, will continue to focus on defensive stocks.
He said there should be a strong signal that the global economy was not slowing, which seems farfetched, with more challenges in store.
Jobless claims in the US rose by 5,000 to 417,000 in the third week of August.
The US is also bracing for Hurricane Irene, which is expected to reach New York over the weekend and could result in the US stock exchange being closed.
The US August payrolls report will be released next Friday.
On the domestic front, corporate earnings have not been attractive, continuing to slide, with both big and small caps sharing the disappointments and downgrades, said OSK Research in its report on Friday.
"We remain neutral on the Malaysian market with a 2012 FBM KLCI fair value of 1,466 points based on a one time price earning ratio (PER).
"We note though that our earnings growth forecast of 12.8 per cent is likely to be pared down, thus causing our FBM KLCI's fair value to be pegged against a higher PER in the coming months," it added.
For the week ended, the market wiped off gains it made on continuous cautious trade, with finance, plantation, oil and gas stocks battered.
Japan's credit rating cut during the week dampened sentiment further.
On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI eased 39.17 points to 1,444.81 from 1,483.98 previously. The Finance Index fell 556.43 points to 13,584.56 and the Industrial Index declined 62.12 points to 2,683.77.
The Plantation Index perked 1.78 points to 7,240.91, the FBM Emas Index lost 286.24 points to 9,871.72 and the FBM Ace declined 120.64 points to 3,705.43.
The total weekly volume decreased to 4.512 billion units worth RM9.577 billion from 5.067 billion units valued at RM8.921 billion previously.
The Main Market turnover fell to 3.58 billion units worth RM9.46 billion from 3.853 billion units valued at RM8.727 billion last Friday.
Volume on the ACE market dropped to 513.678 million shares valued at RM77.89 million from 808.225 million shares worth RM138.994 million last week.
Warrants shed to 309.39 million units worth RM25.367 million from 390.381 million units valued at RM46.624 million previously.