April 23, 2020 / 7:36 AM / a month ago

Foreigners remain net sellers of Japan stocks for 10th week

April 23 (Reuters) - Foreigners sold Japanese equities during the week ended April 17, marking their tenth straight week of net selling, as economic damage from COVID-19 weighed on investor sentiment. Overseas investors sold a net 434.56 billion yen ($4.03 billion) worth of local stocks last week, according to data from Japanese stock exchanges.

They sold 301.98 billion yen in cash markets and 132.58 billion yen worth of derivatives last week.

A slew of dire economic data released last week, crushed investors’ hopes that the world economy would be back on its feet any time soon.

While a record 22 million Americans sought unemployment benefits over the past month, U.S. retail sales in March also plunged 8.7%.

Output at U.S. factories also declined by the most since 1946.

Local shares however, tracked gains in U.S. stocks last week, which surged after U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled a three-phase plan to gradually reopen the coronavirus-hit U.S. economy. Reports of promising early data about a potential COVID-19 treatment from Gilead Sciences Inc also boosted stocks.

The Nikkei index jumped over 2% last week and hit an over five-week high of 19,922.07. The Topix index rose about 0.9%, and marked its second straight week of gains.

Both indexes are in losses this week, with energy-related firms taking a hit from a collapse in oil prices, while investors are also cautious ahead of the corporate results that is likely to reveal the damage from the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Japanese investors purchased a net 225.9 billion yen worth of overseas equities last week, marking their eighth weekly net purchase, finance ministry data showed. ($1 = 107.7800 yen)

Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugaboopathy; editing by Uttaresh.V

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