NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investors in U.S.-based funds added $1 billion into Japanese equity funds in the week ended Nov. 19, posting a fourth straight week of net inflows, data from Thomson Reuters’ Lipper service showed on Thursday.
The flows marked the longest streak of net new cash to such funds since the start of the year.
The new money came in the same week that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would delay a planned sales tax hike, after the world’s third-biggest economy unexpectedly slipped back into recession in the third quarter.
In addition, the Bank of Japan continues to buy government bonds and risky assets to support the economy.
“Some folks are very bullish on Japanese equities in general,” said Barry Fennell, a senior analyst with Lipper.
While the long-term prospects for that country’s economy remain in doubt, he said, “there are definitely winners in he short term, and Japanese equities seem to be them.”
The Nikkei stock index gained 0.53 percent from its close on Nov. 12 through Nov. 19. The yen also weakened in the same period, to 117.97 against the dollar from 115.47 on Nov. 12.
Stock funds overall attracted $571 million in new cash. Stock mutual funds posted $122 million of inflows, while stock exchange-traded funds attracted $449 million in new cash.
Taxable bond funds attracted inflows of $1.5 billion, for their ninth straight week of inflows.
Money market funds attracted $7.8 billion of inflows for the week.
The weekly Lipper fund flow data is compiled from reports issued by U.S.-domiciled mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.
The following is a broad breakdown of the flows for the week, including exchange-traded funds (in $ billions):
Sector Flow Chg % Assets Assets Count
All Equity Funds 0.571 0.01 5,081.382 11,305
Domestic Equities -0.519 -0.01 3,669.249 8,140
Non-Domestic Equities 1.091 0.08 1,412.133 3,165
All Taxable Bond Funds 1.523 0.07 2,254.505 5,864
All Money Market Funds 7.797 0.33 2,347.787 1,296
All Municipal Bond Funds 0.590 0.18 333.683 1,472
Reporting by Luciana Lopez; Editing by James Dalgleish