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Foreign ownership of Japanese stocks fell for the first time in five years in fiscal 2007 on concern that credit-market losses, rising costs and the strengthening yen will erode profits, the Tokyo Stock Exchange said Wednesday.

Foreign investors owned 27.6 percent of the value of Japan’s equities as of March 31, compared with 28 percent a year earlier, the exchange said on its Web site. Net purchases by investors based abroad totaled ¥721.5 billion, about a 10th of the level of the previous year.

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