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Japanese allocations continue rebound in Q1

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Japanese allocations continued their rebound in early quarter one 2010, helped by the desire of global and global ex-US equity fund managers to rotate exposure away from developed Europe until the potential fallout from Greece’s budget problems became clearer.

Pacific Equity Funds also boosted their Japan allocation by over four per cent as net buying of this market by all EPFR Global-tracked funds hit a 46-month high.

Six of the eight major EPFR Global-tracked equity fund groups boosted their cash weightings during January, with average Asia ex-Japan and global emerging markets equity funds increasing their average allocation by 116 and 65 basis points respectively. But global equity funds reduced their exposure to cash to a 36-month low.

On the fixed income side, emerging markets bond funds cut their cash allocations to their lowest level in over eight years.

China’s efforts to prevent asset bubbles, while lauded by many fund managers, had a negative effect on its average global emerging markets, Asia ex-Japan, global, global ex-US and Pacific equity fund weightings.

A majority of the eight major equity fund groups whose GICS Level I sector weightings data is tracked by EPFR Global cut their financials allocation for a third consecutive month in January. Information technology and consumer staples gained ground with most of the fund groups, but allocations for several other sectors diverged along developed versus emerging markets lines.

Global bond funds aggressively rotated exposure from developed European markets to the US during early 1Q10.

Although emerging markets bond funds were net buyers of Venezuela for a fourth straight month in January and boosted Mexico’s average weighting to a 40-month high, overall exposure to Latin America fell with Emerging Europe the main beneficiary.

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