By Gaurav Dogra
– Asian equities suffered a second successive month of outflows in February as investors jettisoned riskier assets due to rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine and on fears of aggressive monetary tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve this year.
According to Refinitiv data, cross-border investors sold Asian equities worth a net $6.9 billion in South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India in the last month, after disposing $8.4 billion in January.
Title: Monthly foreign investment flows: Asian equities, https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/znpnenkyevl/Monthly%20foreign%20investment%20flows%20Asian%20equities.jpg
“The theme driving sentiments in February largely revolve around geopolitical tensions, where it adds greater risks for inflationary pressures and global growth outlook,” said Jun Rong Yeap, market strategist at IG.
Taiwanese equities led the outflows with net sales of $5.8 billion, the biggest since March 2020.
“In light of the jitters around geopolitical tensions, Taiwan may find itself on high alert, too, considering its sensitive relationship with China.” IG’s Yeap added.
Indian equities faced its fifth consecutive outflow in February, as foreigners dumped $4.74 billion worth of the country’s stocks last month. Analysts said rising crude oil prices remain a big threat to the country’s economic recovery, as India is one of the biggest oil importers in the world.
Vietnamese equities also posted some meagre foreign outflows last month.
Meanwhile, Thai, and Indonesian equities attracted $1.88 billion and $1.22 billion, respectively in foreign money. South Korea and Philippines also saw cross-border purchases last month.
“In the near future, geopolitical risks remain on top of investors mind, which may strengthen the dollar and weigh on EM assets,” said Margaret Yang, a strategist at DailyFX.
“Yet, investors may also take this opportunity to buy the dips as Asia-Pacific markets are largely insulated from the Ukraine war.”
Alicia Garcia Herrero, chief Asia Pacific economist at investment manager Natixis, said outflows are going to continue from all Asian markets as the dollar is now king.
(Reporting by Gaurav Dogra in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)