March 23 (Bloomberg) -- The total value of Japanese shares bought through margin transactions fell the most since March 18, the week of the nation’s record earthquake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Total buying on margin in the week ended Jan. 20 fell by 7.6 percent to 1.22 trillion yen ($15.8 billion) from the previous week. The value fell for a fifth consecutive week to the lowest level since May 2009.
Total value of short positions held through margin accounts gained for a third week, adding 19.7 billion yen to 570 billion yen.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average last week gained 3.1 percent to 8,766.36 as U.S. reports showed the world’s biggest economy is recovering and falling European borrowing costs signaled the debt crisis may be easing.
The data is for stocks traded on the first and second sections of the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya stock exchanges.
--Editor: Jim Powell.
To contact the reporters on this story: Satoshi Kawano in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.org; Norie Kuboyama in Tokyo at email@example.com.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: John McCluskey at firstname.lastname@example.org