KUALA LUMPUR: Following the previous day's rally, the benchmark FBM KLCI is expected to consolidate as the corporate results period comes to a close ahead of the Merdeka Day holiday.
In its market review, TA Securities Research said blue chips, especially utility, banking and oil and gas heavyweights, gained in the previous trading sessions amid a firmer regional tone on China's measures to stimulate the domestic stock market and economy.
However, this surge of optimism is not expected to last as investors look ahead to new and firmer leads.
"Pending stronger leads or policy announcements on key infrastructure projects to sustain the strong run-up in the property and construction sectors, stocks should consolidate ahead of the Merdeka Day break, as investor attention may turn towards the key monthly U.S. jobs data to be released at the end of this week," said the research firm.
At the start of trading, the FBM KCLI was up 1.79 points to 1,456.23, with bank counters staying in bullish mode after positive earnings announcements.
Public Bank gained five sen to RM4.19 and RHB added three sen to RM5.73. Corporate results from Maybank, CIMB and Hong Leong Bank are yet to be announced, although there remains positive sentiment over the quarter's bank earnings.
Meanwhile, Maxis gained five sne to RM4.12, CelcomDigi rose one sne to RM.44 while Axiata fell two sen to RM2.56.
In the aviation sector, Capital A jumped 6.5 sen to RM1.02 on heavy buying interest following its earnings announcement, while MAHB climbed five sen to RM7.30 and AirAsia X continued its fall for a third day by three sen to RM2.22.
Top actives included XOX down 0.5 sen to 1.5 ssen, Tanco rising 0.5 sen to 56 sen and Pesona gaining one sen to 20 sen.