Third consecutive week of foreign tide into Bursa

PETALING JAYA: The foreign tide into Bursa continued for the third uninterrupted week last week, with a total of RM160.9 million net, acquired by foreign investors, slightly lower than the RM190.9 million bought the week before.

According to MIDF Research, foreign investors were net buyers on Monday and Tuesday last week.

“The net inflow on Monday was marginal at only RM29.9 million but foreign buying later spiked to RM206.6 million net on Tuesday,” it said in its fund flow report today.

It said that the heavy foreign buying was in tandem with the rally of banking stocks, which pushed the FBM KLCI to settle at 1,871 points, the highest closing since 2014.

On Wednesday, foreigners reduced their exposure in local stocks, disposing RM26.1 million net after Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s testimony revived fears on more rate hikes in 2018.

“The spike in foreign selling on Tuesday was in conformity with other Southeast Asian peers namely Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines,” said MIDF Research.

Foreign investors continued to sell stocks on Bursa amounting to US$25.3 million (RM98.7 million) net on Friday, as concerns over a more hawkish Fed and the timing of the ending for Japan’s monetary stimulus were compounded by the US President Donald Trump’s protectionism woes.

However, it noted that Malaysia is the only beneficiary of foreign inflows last week, among the seven Asian exchanges that it tracks.

An outflow of RM1.12 billion net was recorded in the month of February, which is the first monthly outflow since November 2017. Year-to-date, Malaysia has attracted RM2.21 billion worth of foreign funds compared with RM1.57 billion recorded in the same period last year.

The foreign average daily trade value (ADTV) stood above the RM1 billion mark for the ninth straight week at RM1.51 billion, resembling active foreign participation. The retail market also remained vibrant with a weekly ADTV of RM1.18 billion.