After Strong November, Japan ETFs Eye Year-End Rally

Already among the best ex-U.S. developed market performers this year, exchange traded funds that track Japan are coming off some scorching performances in November that could set the high-flying ETFs up for further upside heading into year-end.

Last month, the WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: DXJ), the top asset-gathering ETF this year, jumped 6% while its rival for yen-hedged supremacy, the db X-trackers MSCI Japan Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: DBJP) rallied by roughly the same amount. The unhedged iShares MSCI Japan ETF (NYSEArca: EWJ), which trails DXJ for top honors in asset-gathering proficiency, rose more than 2% in November. [The Japan ETF Breakout Everyone has Been Waiting For]

Japan ETFs were, of course, led by Japanese stocks as the benchmark Nikkei 225 surged 9.3% last month, posting its best November performance since 2005. After months of lethargic action, which gave rise to concern about the yen possibly strengthening in earnest against the dollar, the Japanese currency has again given bears reason to cheer and there is evidence that Abenomics is working. [An Epic Move for Japan ETFs Could be Near]

Data released on Friday “showed Japanese consumer inflation accelerated to a five-year high and factory output rose for a second straight month in October, more evidence the recovery in the world’s third-largest economy should extend into 2014,” according to Reuters.

Up 51% this year, the Nikkei could remain flat for the rest of 2013 and still cruise to its best annual performance since 1972, Reuters reported.