Financial stock exchange market display screen board on the street

Led by Canadian investors snapping up U.S. stocks, foreign securities buying outpaced the offshore acquisitions of Canadian securities in February, Statistics Canada reports.

Domestic investors added a total of $10.5-billion-worth of foreign securities in February, driven by $9.7 billion in U.S. equities.

The buying activity focused on shares of large-cap tech firms, and broad market index funds, StatsCan said.

At the same time, foreign investors bought $8.5-billion-worth of Canadian securities in February, activity that was also driven by equities.

“Foreign acquisitions of Canadian shares reached $9.5 billion in February, the largest investment in four years,” StatsCan said, noting that Canadian bank shares represented the bulk of the foreign buying.

Foreign investors also added $10 billion of Canadian corporate debt in the month, but sold $11.2-billion-worth of federal government debt.

Canadian investors bought $958 million in foreign debt securities in February, StatsCan noted, with that activity driven by U.S. corporate bond buying — somewhat offset by selling U.S. Treasury bills.

On balance, the economy saw $2 billion in portfolio outflows during the month.