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Investment Times

Three reasons to be positive on Japan

| 24 December 2014 | A A A
Three reasons to be positive on Japan

No recommendation

No news or research item is a personal recommendation to deal. All investments can fall as well as rise in value so you could get back less than you invest.

According to our analysis, Japanese stocks are undervalued in comparison to their global counterparts. Japan is home to many successful companies, which because they are listed in Tokyo, trade on more modest valuations than similar companies listed on other markets. The recent setback to the economy could provide an opportunity to top-up Japanese investments at a depressed price.

Here are three reasons for investors in Japan to be positive:

1. Economics

Japan's ongoing quantitative easing programme aims to assist the economy in meeting the government's 2% inflation target. Additional stimulus was recently announced which could result in higher equity and bond prices, as demand from the National Pension and the Bank of Japan increases.

No recommendation

No news or research item is a personal recommendation to deal. All investments can fall as well as rise in value so you could get back less than you invest.

2. Oil

The falling price of oil will reduce Japan's import bill. For most companies a lower oil price is positive as it should feed through to lower raw material and transport costs, thus boosting profitability. It could also reverse some of the effect of the increase to consumption tax by increasing the population's disposable income. Conversely, it could act as a headwind to the government's inflation target.

3. Currency

The yen has weakened against the US dollar to a new five-year low, falling more than 7% since the increased stimulus measures were announced at the end of October. The devaluing of the yen should provide a boost to earnings and competitiveness in Japan's export sector, but makes imports more expensive. The weakening of the yen has had a negative impact on sterling investors - the Japanese stock market has delivered growth of 92% over the past three years in yen terms, but when these profits are converted to sterling, this reduces to 26%.

Yen/US dollar exchange rate

Source: Proquote International 1 December 2014

Past performance is not a guide to future rates.

The value of investments can go down in value as well as up, so you could get back less than you invest. It is therefore important that you understand the risks and commitments. This website is not personal advice based on your circumstances. So you can make informed decisions for yourself we aim to provide you with the best information, best service and best prices. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment please contact us for advice.