Data from seven stock exchanges showed that foreigners were net buyers of Asian shares in January 2019. Foreign investors bought stocks worth $5.9 billion in the previous month from markets of India, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Taiwan, their highest buy since $7.1 billion in January 2018.
The improved investment prospects for the Asian markets were on the back of hopes that the US Federal Reserve will slow down this year to tighten its monetary policies while trade talks would unwind some of the tariffs imposed. In 2018, Asian equities saw their biggest withdraw of foreign investment in at least seven years amid the US-China trade war that affected the domestic stocks.
In a note, the chief Asian equity strategist at Morgan Stanley said that the "clouds would clear" for Asia and Emerging Markets in 2019.
South Korea and Taiwan were leading in terms of foreign inflows in January at $3.7 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively. Indonesia followed at $969 million, while the Philippines witnessed inflows of about $350 million.
India, on the other hand, saw foreign investors sell equities on concerns over not very attractive third-quarter earnings and uncertainty ahead of the upcoming general elections.
Some surveys have shown that the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling coalition will emerge as the largest group in the parliamentary elections due by May but may fall short of a majority required to rule.