Trading volume soars as foreign investors flock to Bursa equities

KUALA LUMPUR: For the fourth week running, foreign investors poured their funds into Bursa Malaysia for a weekly net inflow of RM524.9mil.

According to data by MIDF Research, there was a notable increase in average daily trading volume (ADTV) over the five-day week, with foreign investors seeing the biggest increase at 50.8%.

Local retailers, meanwhile, recorded a 44.8% increase in ADTV while local institutions' participation by volume increased 22.6%.

By sector, net foreign inflows were the highest in utilities (RM208.8mil), financial services (RM156mil) and property (RM126.9mil).

The sectors with the highest net foreign outflows were technology (RM69.4mil), consumer products and services (RM64mil) and telecommunications and media (RM16mil).

MIDF reported that local institutions were net sellers for a third straight week with RM141.6mil net sold as they disposed of financial services shares to the tune of RM139.7mil net.

Local retailers were net sellers of RM383.3mil net of domestic equities, which was a reversal from the previous week's net purchase of RM24.3mil.

MIDF said in its review that global markets started 2024 on a weak note due to a myriad of factors including the reallocation of portfolios among investors at the start of the year.

The research firm said lingering political tensions were at play, as China President Xi Jinping said Taiwan's reunification with China was inevitable in his New Year message, while the ongoing conflict in the Red Sea continue to disrupt the supply chain.

In the US, labour market numbers surprised on the upside with an addition of 216,000 of non-farm payrolls, while unemployment remained unchanged at 3.7%.

"We expect the Federal Reserve to maintain its Fed funds rate on the back of the still tight labour market and begin to ease its policy setting in the later part of the year as inflation continues to trend lower," said MIDF.

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