RM1.18 billion stocks sold last week in biggest exodus of foreign funds since October

The local bourse was adversely impacted, closing below 1,600 points for the first time since September 2015.

PETALING JAYA: The local market saw a huge exodus of foreign funds last week with RM1.18 billion worth of equities sold, the most since October last year.

MIDF Research attributed the exodus to escalating tensions between the US and China ahead of President Donald Trump’s meeting with his counterpart Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in June.

“The local bourse was also adversely impacted, closing below 1,600 points for the first time since September 2015,” it said.

Much of the market hype was spurred by the disappointing growth in China’s industrial output and retail sales for April 2019, increasing the likelihood of an economic stimulus for the nation.

The trade war imbroglio between the US and China outweighed any positive vibes from the local front which saw the nation’s 1Q19 GDP exceeding expectations.

The selling abated last Friday when sentiment was revived, partly due to the rise in US equities overnight after solid corporate earnings of companies such as Walmart and better-than-expected April housing data.

On a month-to-date basis, Malaysia recorded a foreign net outflow of RM1.71 billion in May 2019. According to MIDF, this brings the year-to-date foreign net outflow from Malaysia to RM4.46 billion.

Participation by foreign investors gained momentum last week as the average daily traded value rose 2.7% to RM1.21 billion, which the research house said was a healthy level.

Tenaga Nasional Bhd registered the highest net money inflow of RM6.44 million last week. Its share price declined 1.86% for the week, underperforming the local bourse which saw a 0.30% weekly loss.

IHH Healthcare Bhd recorded the second highest net money inflow of RM5.38 million. Its share price ended 0.18% lower for the week, outperforming the benchmark which was 0.30% lower.

Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd witnessed the third highest net money inflow of RM5.03 million. Its share price ended 1.01% lower during the week under review, underperforming the local bourse which was 0.30% lower.