July 16, 2020 / 8:36 AM / 25 days ago

Foreign investors net buyers of Japan stocks for first time in five weeks

July 16 (Reuters) - Foreign investors turned net buyers of Japanese equities for the first time in five weeks, as signs of economic recovery both in Japan and abroad offset investor concerns over surging global coronavirus cases.

Overseas investors were net buyers of stocks worth 210.47 billion yen ($1.97 billion) in the week ended July 10, data from Japanese stock exchanges showed.

They purchased a net 110.85 billion yen worth of shares in cash markets, and 103.62 billion yen worth of derivatives.

Some analysts said a bit of short-covering after heavy selling earlier this year also helped inflows last week.

Economic data around the world showed some signs of improvement last week, with U.S. services industry activity rebounding sharply in June to almost return to pre-pandemic levels, and Italian industrial output rebounding stronger than expected in May.

Japan’s machinery orders also unexpectedly rose 1.7% in May after a 12.0% slump in April due to the pandemic, data showed last week.

However, the Topix index fell 1.1% last week, while the Nikkei index fell marginally, marking the second straight week of declines for both indexes as new COVID-19 infections continued to rise in Tokyo.

Meanwhile, Japanese investors sold overseas equities worth a net 3.64 trillion yen, the most in a week in at least 2-1/2 years, finance ministry data showed.

($1 = 106.9000 yen)

Reporting by Gaurav Dogra, Patturaja Murugaboopathy and Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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