Japanese investors were big sellers in overseas stocks in February, tracking big declines in global equities on worries of more rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve, as economic data showed a stickier-than-expected inflation.
According to data from Japan’s Ministry of Finance, investors exited a net 2.15 trillion yen ($15.62 billion) in foreign equities in February, their biggest monthly net selling since a 2.8 trillion yen selloff in April 2021.
By investor type, trust accounts accounted for most of the selling, disposing 1.4 trillion yen worth of foreign equities, while banks and life insurers sold 0.1 trillion yen and 0.2 trillion yen respectively.
Last month, data showed U.S. consumer inflation rose higher than expected in January, while its job growth accelerated.
Meanwhile, Japanese investors purchased a net 4.14 trillion yen worth of overseas bonds in a second straight month of net buying last month.
Investors had purchased a net 677.81 billion yen worth of U.S. and 713.78 billion yen worth of European bonds in January, data from Bank of Japan showed. “Although this indicates that the aggressive net selling of foreign bonds that started last year may have taken a breather, investment in those bonds could be suppressed again toward the end of the fiscal year as the market monitors the possibility of the Fed reconsidering the pace of its rate hikes in response to recently strong US data,” said Barclays in a note on Wednesday.
($1 = 137.6100 yen)
(Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K)