Equity investors confident about Japan

Equity investors invested more in Japanese stock this month, favouring Asia's largest economy over the region’s emerging markets, an industry survey has said.

The Merrill Lynch survey of fund managers found that enthusiasm for emerging-market equities was on the wane, with investors becoming wary in the belief that the rally in the region's stock markets is overdone.

The survey showed that a record number of investors believe that the Japanese yen is undervalued, with many being optimistic about the prospects of profit growth in the Japanese economy.

Some 37 per cent of those surveyed said that they believed that Japan has the best prospects for corporate earnings.

David Bowers, chief global strategist at Merrill Lynch, said: "Investors are more confident about Japan, and there is a slight wariness about emerging-market equities."

Japan's economy is currently expanding at a rate of 5.4 per cent annually, and the Bank of Japan says it is set to continue as firms increase the amount of investment and hiring, and Japanese consumers continue to spend more.

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