The balance of long margin positions — a sensitive indicator of investor sentiment — rose last week for the fourth straight week.

The outstanding balance of shares bought on credit stood at 1.53 trillion yen, up 60.24 billion yen over a week earlier, according to a weekly industry report. The figure was the highest since Aug. 31.

Although share prices remained under selling pressure through much of the week amid fears of contagion from the New York stock slide, margin buyers remained sanguine, keeping the balance of borrowing through margin debt on the rise.

The recent market correction apparently enticed investors to buy stocks on credit as a broad range of stocks dropped to attractive price levels.

The balance of shares sold short, on the other hand, fell for the third week in a row.

Short margin positions stood at 961.12 billion yen, down 68.39 billion yen.

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