Foreign funds net sellers for third week

PETALING JAYA: International funds continued to sell Malaysian equities for the third week running albeit at a slower pace, disposing of RM128.7 million net of local equities last week.

“This was one eighth smaller than the amount withdrawn in the preceding week,” MIDF Research said in its weekly fund flow report today.

It said international investors were net sellers on four days. Offshore funds first sold RM77.9 million net on Monday, pulling the local bourse 0.12% lower to end at 1,729 points.

Risk-off tone was sparked by intensified US-Saudi tensions over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi columnist.

Foreign net selling then shrank to just RM17.3 million on Tuesday before spiking up to RM31.8 million on Wednesday while the FBM KLCI advanced 0.22% to 1,740 points, the highest closing during the week. Nonetheless, Bursa’s nine-day foreign selling streak came to an end on Thursday as offshore funds acquired RM33.3 million net.

“Amongst the four Asean markets we track, Malaysia was the only country experiencing inflows that day as sentiment was hampered by the Fed’s hawkish stance highlighted in its latest minutes of meeting. However, foreign investors were back in selling mode on Friday, withdrawing RM35 million net after technology stocks slumped gain on Thursday in addition to several industrial companies reporting weak quarterly earnings.”

So far, MIDF said Bursa has seen a net outflow of RM1.2 billion for the month of October, bringing the year-to-date outflow to RM9.8 billion.

“Nevertheless, Malaysia still remains as the country with the second lowest outflow amongst the four Asean markets we monitor,” it said.

Participation amongst foreign investors, local institutional funds and investors in the retail market took a slight breather last week as their weekly average daily traded value went lower by more than 10% compared to the preceding week.

Nonetheless, participation of each respective investor group remained at its healthy level.

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