April 27, 2018 / 6:55 AM / a year ago

Japan fund managers trim stock holdings, raise bond exposure in April: Reuters poll

A man is reflected in an electronic board showing the graph of the recent fluctuations of the Tokyo Stock Price Index (TOPIX) outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, June 27, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese fund managers trimmed their overall exposure to stocks in April and increased their bond holdings, a Reuters poll showed.

Respondents on average allocated 38.6 percent of their model portfolios to stocks in April, compared with 39.2 percent in March.

Fears of U.S.-China trade conflicts and geopolitical risks hit global equities earlier in April, although such concerns have ebbed towards the end of the month.

The respondents increased their North American stock exposure to 28.6 percent in April from 27.0 percent in March and kept their Japanese stock holdings unchanged at 47.2 percent. They cut their Asia excluding Japan stock holdings to 5.5 percent from 7.2 percent.

Their overall exposure to bonds increased to 55.2 percent in April from 54.5 percent in March.

“The markets will remain alert towards comments from U.S. President (Donald) Trump, who has to retain a hardline stance ahead of the midterm elections, and safe-haven bonds will continue to draw support,” said Yuichi Kodama, chief economist at Meiji Yasuda Insurance.

The respondents’ North American bond holdings increased to 28.7 percent in April from 28.4 percent in March while their Japanese bond exposure dipped to 45.5 percent from 45.9 percent.

The survey of five Japan-based fund managers was conducted between April 13 and 23.

Reporting by the Tokyo markets team; Editing by Sam Holmes

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