To put things in perspective, our Malaysian bourse came under selling pressures in tandem with regional / global equities weakness. Many Asian peers saw red last week, led by Thailand (-3.9%), India (-3.2%) and China shares listed in Hong Kong (-2.7%) while major U.S. bellwethers lost between 0.9% and 1.7% through the week amidst plunging commodity prices and currency swings. For instance, crude oil prices slumped 15% to US$97 per barrel and the US$ rebounded from its recent lows (e.g. up 1.6% to RM3.0071) week-on-week.
This suggests foreign investors were most probably net sellers lately. Before this, foreigners actually bought more Malaysia shares than they sold in Apr (net surplus of RM1.2b), reversing a net selling streak in Feb (- RM3.4b) and Mar (-RM0.1b). The just released statistics by the stock exchange also revealed that foreign trading participation by value has dwindled to 20% last month (from 25% the preceding month).
In comparison, local institutional funds turned net sellers – of a sum of RM1.2b in Apr – from a net buying position (RM1.8b) the month before while retail investors were evenly matched in terms of buying and selling patterns during the month (versus a net selling amount of RM0.6b in Mar) as the latter were slightly more active (24% of trading value) than the previous month (21% of trading value).