Foreign Investors Snap Up Japanese Stocks for Bargains

REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration/File photo
A banknote of Japanese yen is seen in this illustration picture taken June 15, 2022.

Foreign investors snapped up Japanese stocks in the week ended April 5, as they sought value opportunities following a substantial drop in late-March amid profit booking by domestic institutions.

They pumped in a net 829.45 billion yen ($5.42 billion) into Japanese equities during the week, the highest since Jan. 12 and a sharp reversal from net selling of about 1.18 trillion yen in the prior week, data from stock exchanges showed.

Meanwhile, domestic institutional investors pulled a net 334.8 billion yen out of Japanese stocks last week.

Domestic cash equity markets received 1.18 trillion yen on a net basis in overseas capital, the highest in a week since at least 2018. However, foreigners sold about 352.68 billion yen of derivative contracts.

Last week, the Nikkei shed 3.4%, its sharpest weekly fall since Dec. 2022 amid profit booking and market caution about potential intervention by Japanese authorities in the currency market.

A sell-off in Fast Retailing stocks on concerns over slowing domestic demand at its flagship Uniqlo brand also weighed on the market. Fast Retailing shares lost 6.32% during the week, the most since Jan. 2023.

Despite the recent pullback, the Nikkei still trades above a support line formed since Feb. 21, supporting bets of a potential rebound.

Foreigners sold 349 billion yen of long-term Japanese bonds, logging a second weekly net selling in three, data from the Ministry of Finance showed.

Japanese short-term debt securities, however, received a robust 4.39 trillion yen worth of foreign inflows during the week, the biggest amount since Jan. 5.

Japanese investors, meanwhile, purchased 346.4 billion yen of long-term foreign bonds in contrast to 1.66 trillion yen of net selling in the week before.

They, however, withdrew a marginal 3.1 billion yen out of short-term debt instruments in a third successive week of net selling.

Domestic players were also net sellers in overseas equities last week, with about 301.8 billion yen of net disposals.

$1 = 153.1200 yen