Foreign buying on Bursa narrowed to RM702.2m last week, says MIDF Research

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 22): Foreign buying of local equities continued last week, albeit lower at RM702.2 million versus RM772.2 million the prior week, according to MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd Research.

In his weekly fund flow report today, MIDF Research's Adam M Rahim said that last week, foreign investors were net buyers on all five trading days.

He said foreign buying peaked on Tuesday as foreign investors pumped in RM227.2 million net of funds, tracking gains from Asian markets such as the KOSPI which gained 0.72% and attracted the highest amount of funds during the week at US$307.4 million net.

"Moreover, oil prices stood firm at US$69.15 per barrel (pb) despite retreating from its December 2014 high of US$70.26pb.

"However on Wednesday, there was a big dip in buying activity as the net inflow retreated to RM37.50 million net, the lowest in a day since Dec 26, 2017.

"We note that on this day, Malaysia bucked the trend as other regional peers, namely Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines experienced an increase in foreign inflows," he said.

Nonetheless, Adam said foreign buying regained its momentum on the next two days, hovering above the RM100 million mark.

He said the highlight was on Friday, when fears of a US government shutdown were looming, but foreign investors still bought RM111.3 million net on that day which coincided with the Bursa's highest daily gain in nine days of 0.4% combined with the ringgit hitting the strongest since May 2016 as markets priced in a probability of a rate hike by the Monetary Policy Committee this week.

Adam said foreign participation remained active as the foreign average daily trade value (ADTV) stood above the RM1 billion mark for the third week running despite a 20% weekly decline.

He said the retail ADTV also remained elevated at RM1.76 billion, marking the fourth week above the RM1 billion level.