October 31, 2018 / 3:33 AM / 14 days ago

POLL-Japan fund managers raise stock exposure marginally in October

* For poll data click reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/asset-allocation-polls

TOKYO, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Japanese fund managers slightly increased their overall exposure to stocks and also to bond holdings in October, a Reuters poll showed.

Respondents on average allocated 38.7 percent of their model portfolios to stocks in October, compared with 38.5 percent in September.

They kept their holdings of key equity markets unchanged from the previous month, with exposure to Japanese, North American and euro zone stocks steady at 48.8 percent, 28.7 percent and 13.2 percent, respectively.

Global stocks fell sharply in October, led by U.S. equities which retreated from record highs on concerns over high U.S. yields, caution towards rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, political and economic worries, and trade war woes.

“The correction phase in U.S. stocks could continue for a while, but at this juncture the market is unlikely to collapse. Corporate earnings are steady and the market could resume rising towards the year-end,” said Yuichi Kodama, chief economist at Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance.

The respondents nudged up their overall bond exposure to 54.6 percent in October from 54.4 percent in September.

They raised their North American bond exposure to 30.0 percent in October from 29.2 percent in September, increased euro zone bonds to 28.0 percent from 23.1 percent and reduced Japan bonds to 35.0 percent from 42.1 percent.

U.S. Treasuries and euro zone debt such as German bunds gained in October due to safe-haven demand in the wake of a selloff in global equities. Japanese government bonds, on the other hand, were confined to a relatively narrow range. (Reporting by the Tokyo markets team; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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