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North Americans Bought Most Japan Stocks Since 2005 After Quake

April 20 (Bloomberg) -- North American investors last month bought the most Japanese stocks in more than five years, lured by a buying opportunity following an earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country’s northeast coast, triggered a nuclear accident and sent stocks tumbling.

North American investors bought 928.6 billion yen ($11.2 billion) of Japanese shares in March, the most since Sept. 2005, according to data from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average tumbled 16 percent in the two days after a 9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck on March 11, leaving almost 28,000 people dead or missing, and causing explosions and radiation leaks at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi power station.

Investors in North America have been net buyers of Japanese equities for nine months. Asian investors were also net purchasers for a seventh month in March buying shares worth 549.7 billion yen, the most since Feb. 2007, the data shows. Traders in Europe sold, unloading 125.8 billion yen in shares.

The Nikkei has rebounded 12 percent since hitting a post-quake low on March 15. The broader Topix has risen 9.3 percent in the period.

To contact the reporter on this story: Satoshi Kawano in Tokyo at skawano1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net

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