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Foreigners turn net sellers of Japanese stocks as U.S. yields rise

Feb 26 (Reuters) – Foreigners turned net sellers of Japanese equities for the first time in three weeks as rising U.S. yields prompted some investors to book profits after the local indexes hit their highest in about 30 years last week.

Data from Japanese exchanges showed foreigners were net sellers of stocks worth 184.1 billion yen ($1.73 billion) in the week ended Feb. 19.

They sold a net 145.8 billion yen worth of derivatives and 38.3 billion yen in cash equities markets.

Japan’s major indexes were mixed last week as the Nikkei share average added 1.7% in a third straight week of gains, while the Topix index shed 0.3%.

Both indexes have dropped over 3% this week, as U.S. Treasury yields continued to gain with investors pricing in heavy government borrowing for stimulus spending.

Yields on the 10-year Treasury note touched a one-year high of 1.614% this week and were set to record their biggest monthly surge since 2016.

Meanwhile, Japanese investors sold overseas equities worth 394.8 billion yen last week, marking a sixth consecutive week of net selling, finance ministry data showed. ($1 = 106.1700 yen)

(Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugaboopathy; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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