KUALA LUMPUR: International funds shifted their selling mode into a higher gear last week, according to MIDF Research.
“Based on data from Bursa, foreign funds sold RM416.7mil net of local equities last week.
“This is the fourth time that the weekly foreign net selling reached above RM400mil so far in 2019,” the research house said in its weekly fund flow report.
Bursa began the quarter with an exodus of foreign funds on Monday worth RM265.1m net, the highest in 15 trading days.
The slump in banking stocks outweighed the signs of stabilisation shown by manufacturing activity in China in March 2019, hampering sentiment.
The local bourse followed suit to decline by 0.9% to settle at 1,628.7 points, a level not seen since late December 2016.
The level of foreign net selling dropped substantially to RM37mil on Tuesday as optimism was underpinned by the higher-than-expected jump in U.S’s manufacturing PMI data of 1.1ppt to 55.3% from the month before.
However, Malaysia was the only market with a foreign net outflow amongst the seven Asian markets the research house monitors.
MIDF said offshore investors made a modest return on Wednesday and Thursday by snapping up RM1.4mil net and RM8.8mil net respectively, following a report that the U.S and China have resolved most of the issues in the trade talks.
On the local front, gains in Genting was spurred by its plan to acquire the Equanimity superyacht also partially supported the FBM KLCI which rose 12 points over these two days.
The research house said the mood turned sombre on Friday as foreign investors took out RM124.8mil net, bucking the regional trend due to the absence of catalysts from the local front.
On a year-to-date basis, foreign funds have sold RM1.76bil net of local equities.
“Amongst the four Asean markets we monitor, Malaysia has now taken over Thailand’s place as the nation with the largest foreign net outflow.
“Nevertheless, the cumulative foreign net outflows from January 2018 in Malaysia is substantially lower by more than US$5.0bil compared to Thailand,” MIDF said.
Last week, MY EG Services Bhd registered the highest net money inflow of RM12.86mil.
Tenaga Nasional Bhd recorded the second highest net money inflow of RM7.31mil while Time Dotcom Bhd saw the third highest net money inflow of RM5.96mil.
On the other hand, Public Bank Bhd saw the largest net money outflow of RM18.39mil last week.
Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd recorded the second largest net money outflow RM14.21mil during the week under review.
Malayan Banking Bhd registered the third largest net money outflow of RM14.10mil.