July 26, 2018 / 7:43 AM / a year ago

GRAPHIC-Foreign inflows into Japanese stocks rise to 14-week highs

July 26 (Reuters) - Foreigners bought Japanese equities for the second consecutive week, with automakers and technology firms getting a boost from a weaker yen as the dollar gains amid trade war frictions.

A softer yen enhances export competitiveness for the likes of Toyota Motor Co and Canon Inc and is usually considered a boon for Japan Inc.

In the week ended July 20, overseas investors bought a net 633.78 billion yen ($5.73 billion) of Japanese stocks, including cash equities and futures, data compiled from Japanese stock exchanges showed.

Last week’s inflows were the biggest since the second week of April this year, though they were driven mostly by 601.82 billion yen ($5.44 billion) buying in futures, suggesting short-term players’ short-covering was the main driver.

The Topix index rose 0.9 percent in the last week, while the Nikkei index gained about 0.5 percent.

On Thursday, most Japanese shares gained on upbeat earnings and hopes for reduced global trade frictions, though the Nikkei average was dented by prospects the Bank of Japan will cut its buying in the exchange traded funds (ETFs) linked to the index.

Thomson Reuters data showed 49 percent of Japanese companies have beaten their earnings estimates in the first quarter so far.

($1 = 110.67 yen)

Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugaboopathy Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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