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Foreigners turn net buyers of Japanese stocks on economic optimism

March 18 (Reuters) - Foreign investors turned net buyers of Japanese equities in the week ended March 12, for the first time in a month, as risk appetite improved on hopes that low interest rates and massive fiscal support would quicken the global economic recovery.

Overseas investors were net buyers of stocks worth 193.84 billion yen ($1.78 billion) last week, data from Japanese exchanges showed on Thursday.

They purchased 300.83 billion yen in cash equities markets but sold 306.46 billion yen worth of derivatives.

Investor sentiment was boosted by expectations that big fiscal spending could bring about a greater sense of normalcy after the COVID-19 rattled global economy.

U.S. President Joe Biden signed a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill into law last week and pledged aggressive action towards moving the country closer to normality.

Both Japanese equities benchmarks - the Topix index and the Nikkei share average gained nearly 3% last week.

The Topix index hit a 30-year high on Thursday as index heavyweights tracked Wall Street gains, after the U.S. Federal Reserve projected a rapid jump in economic growth and pledged to keep interest rates low despite an expected surge of inflation.

Meanwhile, Japanese investors sold overseas equities worth 307.8 billion yen last week, finance ministry data showed.

($1 = 108.8500 yen)

Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugaboopathy; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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