Exchange traded funds tracking Japan have been wildly popular this year and inflows data tell the story. As of May 31, year-to-date inflows to Japan ETFs were $23.1 billion, or 23 percent of all ETF inflows, according to BlackRock.
The WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: DXJ) and the iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund (NYSEArca: EWJ) remain the dominant names among Japan ETFs, although investors have embraced other products such as the DBX MSCI Japan Currency-Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: DBJP) as the yen has tumbled against the U.S. dollar. [Retail Investors Still Like Japan ETFs]
Investors’ affinity for Japan ETFs will be put to the test on Wednesday when Direxion introduces two new triple-leveraged Japan funds, the Direxion Daily Japan 3X Bull Shares (NYSEArca: JPNL) and the Direxion Daily Japan 3X Bear Shares (NYSEArca: JPNS). NYSE Euronext confirmed the debut of the funds in a statement released Monday.
The NYSE release did not indicate what index JPNL and JPNS will track, but many of Direxion’s leveraged international ETFs track indexes linked to popular non-leveraged ETFs. For example, Direxion rolled out new bullish and bearish triple-leveraged plays on Brazil and South Korea earlier this year and those ETFs track the same indexes as the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped Index Fund (NYSEArca: EWZ) and the iShares MSCI South Korea Capped Index Fund (NYSEArca: EWY). [Direxion Adds Leveraged Brazil, South Korea ETFs]
JPNL and JPNS will not be the first leveraged Japan ETFs on the market. ProShares, the largest issuer of so-called geared ETFs, issues the double-leveraged ProShares Ultra MSCI Japan (NYSEArca: EZJ) and the ProShares UltraShort MSCI Japan (NYSEArca: EWV). Both of those funds are linked to the MSCI Japan Index, the same index tracked by EWJ.