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February 2024
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Financial Times (February 22)

2024/ 02/ 23 by jd in Global News

“The benchmark Nikkei 225 index finally broke through its “iron coffin lid” to surpass its long-standing record 1989 closing price of 38,915 points, which was set when 15 of the world’s largest companies by market cap were Japanese. “The Nikkei has risen 16.6 per cent since the start of the year, making it the world’s best-performing major index, as a falling yen lures foreign investors” and strengthens the performance of exporters.”


Business Insider (February 16)

2024/ 02/ 18 by jd in Global News

“The US economy managed to shake off Wall Street’s gloomy forecasts and dodge a long-predicted slump last year — but the same can’t be said for two other members of the G7.” Both the UK and Japan entered technical recessions based on data released Thursday showing each nation’s GDP fell during both of the two last quarters in 2023.


Reuters (February 15)

2024/ 02/ 16 by jd in Global News

“Japan’s journey back to normality has just taken an unwelcome turn. The world’s third-largest economy in U.S. dollar terms ceded the title to Germany on Thursday” as Japan simultaneously slipped into a recession. “More unnerving is a slew of weak data making it harder for the Bank of Japan to justify hiking rates and officially ending its era of ultra-easy monetary policy.”


Forbes (February 9)

2024/ 02/ 12 by jd in Global News

“Economists are struggling to put China’s epic $7 trillion stock crash in perspective. The best size and scope may be that, since 2021, the market has lost the combined gross domestic product of Japan and France.” But that’s not even the worst news out of China. Beijing is now “on the lookout for those disseminating negative views on China’s economic and market prospects. This chilling warning not to ‘denigrate China’s economy’ via ‘false narratives’ is Mao Zedong, not Adam Smith. And it raises troubling questions as China’s influence soars.”


International Banker (December 18)

2023/ 12/ 19 by jd in Global News

If Japan’s Financial Services Agency and the nation’s “asset-management industry work together to establish ‘customer-oriented business operations’, they may succeed in gaining the trust of retail investors, and the financial assets of Japanese households may finally show a visible shift from cash and deposits to securities.” Two decades of failed efforts starting with the Big Bang financial reform suggest “it will take much effort to gain the trust of retail investors, some of whom have experienced disappointing returns in the past. Unless the Japanese financial industry works harder than ever for customers’ interests, the goal of ‘savings to investments’ will turn out to be elusive once again.”


Investment Week (December 7)

2023/ 12/ 08 by jd in Global News

“Japanese equities are comfortably multi-asset teams’ most favoured asset class according to our sentiment indicator. Its economy continues to be viewed as being relatively sheltered from the effects of interest rate rises seen elsewhere.”


Financial Times (November 15)

2023/ 11/ 15 by jd in Global News

“One of Asia’s sleepiest investment sectors has outperformed tech stocks.” Share prices have soared at Japanese banks and their earnings now “confirm the prescience of that rally…. Earnings at Japan’s five biggest banking groups rose 56 per cent to a record of about ¥2tn ($13bn).” Higher spreads and buybacks are part of the equation, “but the biggest driver of the rally has been rising hopes that the central bank may end its ultra-easy monetary policy soon.”


Bloomberg (October 31)

2023/ 11/ 01 by jd in Global News

“Japan’s central bank insists it still wants to cap long-term market rates,” but their “actions suggest officials are losing the stomach for it.” Kazuo Ueda is dismantling “the cumbersome legacy of his predecessor… more rapidly” than expected “when he took the helm of the Bank of Japan.” Nevertheless, BOJ officials are insisting that the “policy is only being tweaked.” This threatens “the credibility of its communications” as “key parts of the BOJ’s entire approach to setting borrowing costs are being removed or watered down.”


Financial Times (October 25)

2023/ 10/ 26 by jd in Global News

“Japan’s biggest automotive trade show acts as a gauge of how hard the country’s once unstoppable carmakers are ready to fight for survival. Increasingly it looks like an industry waiting for a miracle. The trillion-dollar question is whether solid-state batteries — a technology that promises greater range and safety than lithium-ion ones, and which Toyota has indicated it is near to mass producing — can be that miracle.”


Financial Times (October 5)

2023/ 10/ 07 by jd in Global News

“Japan’s demographics — for all the socio-economic hand-wringing they cause — are now arguably the biggest ‘buy’ signal the country has sent for decades…. In several critical areas, Japan’s demographics are aligned to work strongly in favour of companies and investors.” One of these stems from “from labour shortages and the profound psychological difference they make to corporations’ ability to restructure.” This will enable corporations to “divest everything non-core and focus instead on what they are best at.”


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