Foreign buying inched closer to RM500m last week, says MIDF Research

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 18): International investors acquired some RM495.3 million of Malaysian equities last week, a level not reached for the past seven months, according to MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd Research.

In his weekly fund flow report today, MIDF Research analyst Adam M Rahim said the amount acquired last week was up from the RM337.7 million inflow the prior week.

He said the week started and ended with a bout of attrition.

"Nonetheless, the foreign buying from Tuesday to Thursday which totalled to RM591.8 million net cancelled off the RM96.5 million net sold on Monday and Friday.

"Foreign buying peaked on Thursday at RM310.4 million net, the largest daily inflow since April 28 this year," he said.

Adam said the heavy foreign buying coincided with the FBM KLCI reaching the highest close since Oct 10 at 1,759 points.

He said it is noteworthy that the foreign inflow was in line with other regional peers, notably South Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines amid positive developments in the US tax overhaul plan.

"However, Friday turned out to be a gloomy day as foreign investors disposed [of] RM60.7 million net.

"Investor sentiment was hampered by the lacklustre performance of Wall Street overnight amid sudden uncertainties on the US tax reform," he said.

Adam said it was no surprise that the local bourse took the cue to retreat by 0.34%, closing below the 1,750 level on the same day.

He said the fourth week of inflows had brought the year-to-date foreign purchase above the RM10 billion mark at RM10.2 billion.

Adam said the last time it breached above the RM10 billion level was during the third week of September this year.

"Foreign participation stood strong last week as the foreign average daily trade value (ADTV) stayed above RM1 billion for the third week running.

"The retail ADTV meanwhile staged a recovery, increasing by 12.3% to RM904 million," he said.