Japan leads record foreign inflows into Asian markets
Foreign investors are piling money into major Asian equity markets outside of China at the fastest pace in seven years this quarter, as vaccine successes add to the global risk-on mood.
Nine regional stock markets have lured a combined about $48 billion since Oct. 1, the most since the fourth quarter of 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Japan is leading the way with $27.4 billion, followed by India at $9.2 billion. South Korea has received $6.4 billion.
A series of encouraging results from vaccine makers have lent fresh impetus to the Asian equity rally spurred by Joe Biden's victory in the U.S. Presidential election and the signing of a regional trade pact. Benchmark stock indices in India and South Korea hit all-time highs this month, while in Japan the Nikkei 225 Stock Average has surged to a 29-year peak amid a rotation into cheap cyclical shares.
"A catch-up rally may continue as investors reshuffle their portfolio in favour of cyclical sectors, which are perceived to benefit most from recent vaccine breakthroughs," said Margaret Yang, a strategist at DailyFX. "A relatively well-handled pandemic situation across Asia-Pacific may have also boosted investment confidence in the region."
Meanwhile, Asian shares' better overall performance this month — including Chinese stocks — has helped the region overtake the U.S. in terms of year-to-date gains. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is now up 12% in 2020, versus an advance of close to 11% for the S&P 500 Index.
The inflows also show that investors are positioning for an earnings recovery, according to Kieran Calder, head of Asia equity research at Union BancairePriveeUbp