The asset value of Japanese mutual funds posted the biggest monthly drop in five months in April hit by falls in share prices and rise of the yen, but the market saw strong inflows directed in global real estate funds and Asian equities funds. The overall asset value of Japanese mutual funds fell 928.1 billion yen, or 1.5 percent, to 61.27 trillion yen in April.
That was the second straight month of fall after slipping 92 billion yen or 0.1 percent the previous month. Falls in Japanese equities prices and the yen’s rise across the board weighed on the value.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average fell 5.6 percent and the broader Topix index dropped 5.9 percent.
The yen advanced about 1.2 percent versus the US dollar and rose 2.3 percent against the euro.
But inflows increased, with Japan-domiciled equity investment trust funds, a type of mutual funds known as toushin, recording their first net inflows since September, the Investment Trusts Association said. Net inflows of equity mutual funds totalled 428.9 billion yen ($5.37 billion) in April, a sharp reversal from net outflows of 14.8 billion yen a month earlier, the association said. “Appetite from investors has returned in April, especially after seeing healthy investment performances in February,” Fumio Inui, the association’s vice president, told a news conference. But he wasn’t sure how long it would hold because of the headwinds from Europe. “But I’m worried that such a trend is starting to fade due to the worsening of the situation in Greece and Spain and others in euro zone. I’m worried about how this problem would affect inflows in May,” Inui said. In February, Japanese mutual funds recorded their highest
ever monthly investment gains of 3.65 trillion yen. Market participants closely watch the Japanese mutual fundmarket because of its size, the eighth-largest in the world and bigger than the economy of Turkey.
Following is a breakdown of the April data: Net money flows (in yen): April March Overall: +405.1 billion +52.5 billion Stocks: +428.9 billion -14.8 billion Bonds: -23.8 billion +67.3 billion Value of publicly placed toushin (in yen): April March mth/mth Overall: 61.27 trln 62.19 trln -1.5 percent Stocks: 50.32 trln 51.23 trln -1.8 percent Bonds: 10.94 trln 10.97 trln -0.2 percent Value of privately placed toushin (in yen): April March mth/mth Overall: 29.45 trln 30.04 trln -1.9 percent Stocks: 28.87 trln 29.47 trln -2.0 percent Bonds: 584.2 billion 563.3 billion +3.7 percent April March mth/mth Value of ETFs: 3.10 trln 3.25 trln -4.4 percent Assets in foreign currencies (in yen): April March mth/mth Overall: 24.28 trln 24.61 trln -1.3 percent Stock: 3.88 trln 3.94 trln -1.5 percent Bond: 13.48 trln 13.69 trln -1.5 percent