Japan’s stock market and related exchange traded funds (ETFs) have fallen since disaster struck the country. With continued uncertainty in the country regarding the impact of the nuclear reactors, and prices as low as they are now, some are wondering if Japan, the world’s third largest economy, is a buying opportunity.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange dropped around 20% in the days following the earthquake and tsunami, and has come back since then; it’s down 7% since the quake. The government of Japan declared the event a “large-scale” disaster, which means the nation bears nearly 90% of the cost of restoration work such as of the roads and ports, reports The Yomiuri Shimbun. But the issue with the nuclear reactors could delay a big part of the reconstruction that needs to take place.
There is still uncertainty around the nuclear reactors and that has had a negative effect on the economy and stocks, reports Anna Kitanaka and Toshiro Hasegawa for Bloomberg. The country’s GDP may shrink by as much as 12% annualized in the second quarter. [Japan ETFs: Looking Forward To A Better Future.]
Brett Arends of The Wall Street Journal writes that the intrepid investor may want to consider blue chip equities, with manufacturing and technology sectors being on the list, but investors may want to avoid insurers and utilities. Additionally, small-cap stocks are even cheaper, with most trading on half book value, or less. Most Japanese corporations have spent years repairing their balance sheets and stocking up on cash, and most exporters have benefited from Chinese demand.