Click to EnlargeYTD Return: +20.6%
Yesterday, the Global Post published a piece that aptly summed up the state of things in Japan. Michael Moran wrote:
“Following the election of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last December, a radical change in monetary and fiscal policy has reversed a three-decade decline and put a little pep in the country’s step again.”
A little pep in Japan’s step may be an understatement. Experts remain optimistic about the economy’s recovery even in the face of some recent weaker-than-expected economic data and a looming sales-tax increase, and the world’s third-largest economy has been the second-best performance so far this year.
The SPDR Russell/Nomura PRIME Japan ETF (JPP) has gained more than 20% year-to-date and just under 30% in the past 52 weeks. Top holding Toyota (TM) has led the way, as the automaker is outpacing still-solid peers Ford (F) and General Motors (GM). TM soared more than 6% Friday alone after nearly doubling its first-quarter profit, and that jump brought its 2013 gains to just under 40%.