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The balance of shares bought on credit rose for the third consecutive week last week.

The outstanding balance of long margin positions stood at 1.78 trillion yen at the end of the week, up 43.74 billion yen from a week earlier, according to a weekly Tokyo Stock Exchange report.

In terms of volume, the balance increased 45.44 million shares to 2.98 billion shares, rising for the 12th straight week. The margin debt averaged 598 yen per share, little changed from 592 yen the previous week.

Although the Tokyo market remained in a corrective phase through much of the week, individual investors remained bullish, opting for low- and medium-priced incentive-backed shares.

The balance of shares sold short, on the other hand, turned lower.

The balance of short margin positions stood at 881.7 billion yen, down 31.86 billion yen — the first fall in four weeks.

The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei average ended the week at 13,765.92, down 111.85 points, or 0.8 percent.

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