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Nonresident investors turned into net sellers of Japanese equities by unloading a net ¥7.38 trillion in 2008 for the first time since relevant statistics started being compiled in the current format in 2005, the Finance Ministry said Tuesday.

Foreign investors remained net sellers in the Japanese stock market for six straight months starting in July as hedge funds and institutional investors sold the equities for cash amid the global financial crisis. Nonresident investors were net buyers of Japanese equities by purchasing a net ¥4.14 trillion in 2007.

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