Foreign investors remained net sellers of Japanese stocks for the fourth straight week last week, although their selling excess narrowed.

Nonresidents sold 49.89 billion yen more than they bought on the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya stock exchanges, down from 164.62 billion yen the previous week, according to a weekly industry report.

They turned net sellers in the fifth week of May, snapping a 10-week streak of net buying. Volatility on Wall Street prompted foreign investors to unwind their Japanese portfolios.

As another major factor, brokerage officials cited first-half book-closings.

Among domestic investors, trust banks were net buyers for a fifth week, reflecting a growing flow of pension fund money. Their net purchases came to 29.01 billion yen, down from 41.91 billion yen.

Long-term credit banks, city banks and regional banks as a whole remained net buyers for the second straight week, buying 21.4 billion yen more than they sold, compared with 26.2 billion yen the previous week.

They turned net buyers in the second week of this month for the first time in 12 weeks.

Individual investors logged 45.9 billion yen in net selling in cash trading in a turnaround from 110 billion yen in net buying the previous week.

After hunting for bargains the previous week, they retreated to the sidelines.

The Nikkei average ended the week at 13,044.61, up 254.23 points on the week. After climbing past 14,000 to hit a year-to-date high early last May, the key market gauge languished below 13,000 for much of the time in recent weeks.

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