Foreign funds step up pressure on Bursa

KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign funds have stepped up their pressure on Bursa with net selling surging to RM1.51bil over the past two days and it does not seem to be any let up as blue chips fell for the third day on Wednesday.

The FBM KLCI fell in early trade before firming up.  At 9.23am, the KLCI was up 1.57 points or 0.08% to 1,849.77. Turnover was RM402.15mil valued at RM188mil. There were 209 gainers, 239 losers and 212 counters unchanged.

Based on stock market data, foreign funds have been putting pressure on Malaysian equities over the past two days but the selling has been absorbed by local institutions and retail investors. 

Their selling could be due to them awaiting more details how the new Pakatan Harapan-led Federal Government could put the economy on a stronger footing after the stunning victory in the 14th General Election last week under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

On Monday when the financial and equities markets opened for trading, foreign funds were net sellers at RM682.6mil but local institutions were net buyers at RM238.2mil and retail investors at RM444.4mil.

On Tuesday, foreign funds stepped up their selling to net RM837.3mil but local institutions were net buyers at RM661.7miil and retailers at RM175.6mil.

In Wednesday's trading, consumer stocks were the top gainers, BAT rose 76 sen to RM29.26, F&N added 74 sen to RM36.66, Nestle 30 sen to RM140, Ajinomoto 26 sen to RM22.90  and Carlsberg 20 sen to RM19.66. Heineken lost 40 sen to RM21.58.

UMW added 21 sen to RM6.33 and Petronas Dagangan 18 sen to RM26.52 while Globetronics  added 15 sen to RM4.98. 

Hartalega’s stronger earnings saw its share price climb 18 sen to RM6.18.

HLFG and PPB Group lost 18 sen each to RM18.76 and RM19.70 while Sarawak Plantation lost 15 sen to RM1.50. Petron fell 12 sen to RM9.07 and Berjaya Media 11.5 sen lower at 16.5 sen. Hengyuan shed 10 sen to RM8.78.