7 Jun

Nikkei 225 Gains despite Underwhelming Economic Data

WRITTEN BY Mayur Sontakke, CFA, FRM

Nikkei 225

The Nikkei 225 gained today after losing marginally yesterday. The index gained 0.53% today to end the day (and the week) at 20,844.71. During the week, the index gained 1.38%, advancing on two days and dropping on three. 2,404 stocks gained on the Tokyo Stock Exchange today, while 1,078 fell.

Economic data was disappointing

Today, Japan’s Statistics Bureau released consumption data for April. While the consumption expenditure rose 1.3% in real terms in April on a year-over-year basis, the same fell 1.4% over March’s. Analysts were expecting a 2.6% increase on a year-over-year basis and a -0.3% fall over March 2019. On a positive note, average cash earnings fell less than expected.

In a separate release, Japan’s Cabinet office released indexes of business conditions for April today. The data pointed to worsening conditions. Consumer confidence came in at the lowest since February 2016.

Japan-focused ETFs

On June 6, all major Japan-focused ETFs moved only marginally. The iShares MSCI Japan ETF (EWJ) gained 0.11%, while the WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (DXJ) lost 0.12%. The JPMorgan BetaBuilders Japan ETF (BBJP) stayed steady yesterday.

KOSPI gains too

South Korea’s KOSPI index gained marginally today. The index advanced 0.16% to end the day and the week at 2,072.33. The index gained 1.5% this week. Yesterday, the iShares MSCI South Korea Capped ETF (EWY) stayed steady on the NYSE Arca.

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