November 30, 2018 / 3:34 AM / 11 days ago

Japan fund managers increase equity exposure in November: Reuters poll

People walk in front of an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, October 15, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese fund managers increased their overall exposure to stocks and trimmed their bond holdings in November, a Reuters poll showed, brushing off October’s equity slump.

Respondents on average allocated 39.1 percent of their model portfolios to stocks in November, compared with 38.7 percent in October.

While concerns such as the U.S.-China trade conflict lingered, MSCI’s gauge of global stocks .MIWD00000PUS pulled back from a 14-month trough in October, when the index had fallen 7.5 percent. The fund managers kept their exposure to key equity markets unchanged from the previous month, with holdings of Japanese, North American and euro zone stocks steady at 48.8 percent, 28.7 percent and 13.2 percent, respectively.

“It is clear that the U.S. economic expansion is starting to reach its latter stages, but it is premature for the markets to begin factoring in such a slowdown,” said Yuichi Kodama, chief economist at Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance.

“Although concerns such as the U.S.-China trade row, the Italian fiscal situation and Brexit remain, the adjustment phase in equities is likely to peter out toward the year’s end barring major negative surprises.”

Although respondents cut their portfolios’ overall bond exposure to 54.0 percent in November from 54.6 percent in October, they increased their Japanese bond holdings to 42 percent from 35 percent.

They shaved their North American bond exposure to 29.5 percent in November from 30.0 percent in October and reduced euro zone bonds to 22.6 percent from 28.0 percent.

Reporting by the Tokyo markets team, editing by Eric Meijer

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