September 6, 2018 / 10:01 AM / 20 days ago

Foreigners bought Japanese equities for second week on NAFTA optimism

Sept 6 (Reuters) - Foreign buying in Japanese stocks rose to a six-week high in the week ended Aug. 31, helped by optimism over a resumption of trade talks between the United States and Canada to revise the 24-year old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Canada rejoined the talks to modernise the NAFTA pact after Mexico and the United States announced a bilateral trade deal earlier in the last week, which lifted demand for global risk assets including Japanese equities.

In the last week, overseas investors bought a net 541 billion yen of Japanese stocks, including cash equities and futures, data from Japanese stock exchanges showed.

The Topix index gained 1.53 percent, while the Nikkei index added 1.17 percent in the last week.

The Nikkei index rose for eight consecutive sessions through Aug.30, making the biggest winning streak since October last year.

However, Japanese shares have fallen sharply this week, following an earthquake in Hokkaido overnight and a strong typoon that hit western Japan earlier this week.

Trade tensions between China and United States also kept Japanese stocks in check. Trump could impose levies on $200 billion more of Chinese imports after a public comment period on the new tariffs ends on Thursday, although when the duties would actually take effect is unknown.

In the last week, Japanese investors bought 186.1 billion yen worth of overseas equities, data from Ministry of Finance showed.

Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugaboopathy; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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