Japanese stocks and exchange traded funds are off to a strong start in 2012 due to improved risk sentiment and hopes the economy is in recovery mode following last year’s devastating quake and tsunami.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose to one-month highs last week.
Japan’s market has followed U.S. stocks higher in early 2012. The latest confidence reported from U.S. homebuilders beat analysts estimates. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund is considering expanding its lending resources to help alleviate Europe’s debt problem, reports Nori Kuboyama for Bloomberg Businessweek. [Can Japan ETFs Overcome Hurdles in 2012?]
“Investors around the world are starting to think about taking risks again,” Koji Toda, chief fund manager at Resona Bank Ltd. in Tokyo, said in the report. “Economic data out of the U.S. has been relatively firm and Europe doesn’t look like its going to fall into chaos right away.”
The Nikkei rose to its highest close since early December.
The IMF is reported to possibly double its funds to $600 billion in new capital, which has helped Japanese exporters, as the euro was able to bounce against the U.S. dollar and the yen, reports Dominic Lau and Mari Saito for Reuters.