Japan’s stocks rose by their largest amount in two months, giving a lift to their exchange traded funds (ETFs).

The jump came after orders for durable goods in the United States notched an unexpected increase in April, which helped ease concerns that an economic slowdown would curb spending. The United States is Japan’s largest export market, report Masaki Kondo and Toshiro Hasegawa for Bloomberg.

Japan’s increased retail sales also rose by a small amount last month but the sales aren’t better for the reasons you’d think.

They rose 0.1% thanks to more spending on gas and cars, reports Kaori Kaneko for Thomson Financial News. The reading was also the worst since July 2007, when they fell 2.3%. Between August 2007 and this March, they rose.

In April, fuel retailers reported a 3.4% increase. Auto retail sales were up, too, by 4.2%. But sales at large retail stores fell 2.2%.

Some of Japan’s ETFs benefited from the good news today, including:

  • iShares MSCI Japan (EWJ), down 0.6% year-to-date
  • PowerShares FTSE RAFI Japan (PJO), down 4.9% year-to-date
  • SPDR Russell/Nomura PRIME Japan (JPP), up 0.% year-to-date


The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.