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,Investors told to hold more cash than equities

PETALING JAYA: Investors should brace for further impact as the near-term outlook for the Malaysian stock market is unflattering, with US stocks sinking into bear territory.

An *** yst even recommended investors hold more cash than equities, considering the mounting risks globally including recessionary fears and inflationary pressures.

“Foreign investors have been net sellers of Malaysian stocks in the past seven consecutive trading days, as part of their portfolio readjustment amid the interest rate hike in the United States.

“This has been pressuring the local stocks.

“I would recommend investors to just focus on short-term trades, if they really want to go into equities. But then again, any technical rebound will likely be capped,” the *** yst told StarBiz.

Investors on Bursa Malaysia are already moving to the sidelines.

In the past week, the average daily trade value (ADTV) of institutional and foreign investors saw a reduction of 20.67% and 56.81%, respectively, according to MIDF Research.

Only retail investors experienced a weekly ADTV growth, albeit a marginal 0.32%.

Hit by low liquidity and poor sentiment, the FBM KLCI has fallen by 7.3% to below the 1,500-point level over the past two months.

The selldown was also glaring among the second and third-liner stocks.

However, Bursa Malaysia is not alone in enduring the market turbulence.

The US’ S&P 500, for example, slumped by more than 20% this year, sending it into a bear market for the first time since 2020.

Investors are fearing a potential recession in the United States – the world’s largest economy – and the domino effect on the global economy.

The fear is triggered by market expectations that the US Federal Reserve (Fed) will raise its interest rate further to tame the rising inflation.

Fund manager Danny Wong said it is possible for Wall Street, as well as Bursa Malaysia, to fall further if the global fears do not subside.

“People are too concerned about the rising inflation trend, and thus, the expectation of rate hikes is high,” the CEO of Areca Capital said.

Ahead of the Fed meeting, major US stock indices such as Dow Jones Industrial Index, Nasdaq Composite Index and S&P 500 dived by 2.79%, 4.68% and 3.88%, respectively, on June 13.

Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior *** yst at Swissquote Bank, said that all assets were heavily sold and the money piled into the US dollar, which is a sign of extreme stress in the market.

“No one wants to take a chance on any asset other than the US dollar before the Fed’s decision, even the traditional safe haven assets are suffering right now,” she said.

In the event the Fed proceeds with a 50-basis-point rate hike as planned, Ozkardeskaya said a relief rally could take place.

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