Foreign investors help drive Tokyo shares higher

Japanese shares have been rallying, driven higher largely by overseas investors.

The upward trend in the Nikkei Average index began in late August. It regained the 30,000 mark last week for the first time in about five months.

Tokyo Stock Exchange officials say foreign investors have bought more shares than they sold in the past two weeks. Their net purchases have totaled over 5.7 billion dollars.

It's a different story for domestic players. They have been net sellers over the same period, to the tune of over 9.1 billion dollars. They have apparently been locking in gains.

Market sources say the foreigners were net sellers for five straight months through August.

But their mood shifted on a widespread belief that the successor to Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide will be pro-stimulus.

Progress in Japan's vaccine rollout is also fueling the bullishness.