Foreigners turn net buyers of Japanese stocks in 2019

Dec 26 (Reuters) - Foreign investment into Japanese equities has turned positive this year, data showed, as investors become more optimistic about an end to the prolonged Sino-U.S trade war, which has disrupted the local economy in the past few quarters.

Overseas investors have bought 2.49 trillion yen ($22.73 billion) worth of Japanese shares this year, data from Japanese stock exchanges showed. They were net sellers in 2018, selling about 7.52 trillion yen worth of Japanese stocks.

In the week ended Dec. 20, foreign investors purchased a net 117.35 billion yen in derivative markets and 17.76 billion yen in cash markets, the data showed.

Last week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the United States and China would sign their Phase One trade pact at the beginning of January. Mnuchin said it was completely finished and just undergoing a technical “scrub”.

The Nikkei index and the Topix index lost about 0.86% and 0.4% last week as the holiday lull offset the optimism about the Phase One trade deal.

Japanese investors bought 29 billion yen worth of overseas equities last week in their fourth successive weekly net buying, Finance Ministry data showed.

($1 = 109.5400 yen)

Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugaboopathy; editing by Jason Neely