By Anas Abu Hassan
KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 -- Foreign investors turned net sellers last week, albeit at a lesser amount of RM147.8 million net of local equities last week compared to the RM173.9 million net disposed of in the previous week.
Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd economist Adam Mohamed Rahim said Bursa Malaysia had a pretty good start to the week as foreign investors acquired RM8.0 million net of local equities on Monday, although local institutional investors pared down their holdings in the local equity market ahead of the holiday on Tuesday.
However, he said international investors were largely on a risk-off mode when the markets resumed after the Hari Raya Aidiladha holiday on Wednesday, selling RM147.0 million net of local equities.
"The overall sentiment was weighed down by the highly infectious Delta variant which could likely disrupt global economic recovery," he told Bernama.
Adam noted that a spark of optimism was seen on Thursday as foreign funds acquired RM32.8 million net of local equities, coinciding with a 0.7 per cent gain in the FBM KLCI index.
"The foreign net inflow was sparked by the rally on Wall Street, amidst encouraging corporate earnings released overnight.
"However, markets turned chaotic on Friday with foreign investors selling RM41.6 million net of local equities, as the number of daily COVID-19 cases in the country reached a record high of 15,573 cases which was the highest ever recorded at that point of time," he added.
To-date, Malaysia's cumulative COVID-19 cases surpassed the one million mark at 1,013,438 cases after 17,045 new cases were reported on Sunday -- the highest recorded in a day since the pandemic hit the country in March last year.
"The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released on Friday -- which showed a growth of 3.4 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) in June this year compared to a 4.4 per cent y-o-y growth in May -- indicated that inflationary pressures remain high but have continued to soften gradually," said Adam.
On a year-to-date basis, Adam said international investors have sold RM5.0 billion net of local equities this year compared to RM18.3 billion net disposed of during the same period last year.
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