(Corrects syntax in paragraph 3)
* Trust banks bought highest value of Japan stocks since March 2009
* Foreigners sold highest value in cash Japan stocks since March 2014
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Net selling of Japanese cash and futures stocks by foreign investors during last week hit a record high as buyers shunned riskier assets on worries that a China-led slowdown could hurt global growth.
Foreigners, who were also net sellers in the previous two weeks, sold a total of 707.05 billion yen ($5.89 billion) worth of Japanese cash stocks during the week of Aug. 24-28, the biggest weekly selling since March 2014, data released by the Japan Exchange Group on Thursday showed.
Foreigners sold a net 1.176 trillion yen in futures, taking the combined cash and futures net selling to 1.883 trillion yen, the highest ever, according to brokerages tracking the data.
“The figure shows that foreign investors were extremely risk-averse,” said Seiichi Miura, an investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, adding that global investors grew more concerned that China’s slowing demand could eat into production in advanced countries like Japan.
“If the market can confirm that profit growth is intact for Japanese companies at their mid-year earnings results in October, selling by foreigners will likely pause,” Miura said.
Concerns about China’s economy pushed Japanese stocks sharply down, with the Nikkei share average falling more than 13 percent from its 18-1/2 year high in late June and the broader Topix also dropping 13 percent from its eight-year peak last month.
Also keeping investors on edge is the prospects that the U.S. Federal Reserve could raise U.S. interest rates in the coming months.
Conversely, trust banks, which manage corporate pension trusts and national pension fund trusts, bought a net 263 billion yen in Japanese cash stocks, the highest since March 2009.
Traders said when the Nikkei drops below the 18,000 level, its price-to-earnings ratio drops to around 14, making Japanese stocks attractive for pension funds which tend to hunt stocks at attractively priced levels.
The Nikkei ended 0.5 percent higher at 18,182.39 on Thursday. ($1 = 120.0500 yen) (Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)