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Foreign investors turned net buyers of Japanese stocks last week while major domestic players continued to unload their shareholdings.

Nonresidents bought 97.03 billion yen more than they sold, against net sales of 27.8 billion yen posted the previous week, a weekly industry report said.

The report covers transactions made through 64 brokerages on the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya stock exchanges.

The Bank of Japan’s decision Tuesday to further ease its grip on credit provided share prices with a major lift, sending the benchmark 225-issue Nikkei average 440.39 points higher to 11,917.95.

At a meeting of its policy board, the BOJ decided to raise the target for commercial banks’ reserves in its current accounts from 5 trillion yen to 6 trillion yen.

The central bank also decided to increase its outright purchases of government bonds — a move aimed at funneling more money into the banking system.

Although the stock markets reacted positively, the rebound soon fizzled, prompting domestic nonfinancial businesses and institutional investors to retreat to the sidelines.

Nonfinancial companies sold 31.6 billion yen more than they bought, remaining net sellers for the ninth consecutive week.

Long-term credit banks, city banks and regional banks as a whole remained net sellers for the eighth week in a row, chalking up 28.9 billion yen in net sales.

Seasonal corporate selling toward the close of the fiscal first half has gathered momentum as mark-to-market accounting rules are being applied to cross-held shares.

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