Investors holding Japan exchange traded funds were likely pleased with the performances those funds delivered in 2013.

The db X-trackers MSCI Japan Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: DBJP) and the rival WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: DXJ) were among the top-performing single-country ETFs, buoyed in large part by the tumbling yen. The iShares MSCI Japan ETF (NYSEArca: EWJ), which does not feature a currency hedge, jumped 26% and vied with DXJ among the top asset-gathering ETFs of the year. [Slumping Yen a Boon for Japan ETFs]

When the U.S. Dollar has jumped above 100 against the Japanese yen for the first time since September in mid-November, speculation started increasing that the Nikkei 225 and Japan ETFs were on the brink of significant technical breakouts. At the time, it was noted that a longer-term chart showed the Nikkei 225 was recently rebuffed at a key resistance area and that Japan’s benchmark index has been making a series of lower highs dating back to the early 1990s. [The Japan ETF Breakout Everyone is Waiting For]

That breakout could be materializing. Chris Kimble of Kimble Charting Solutions notes the benchmark Nikkei 225 recently broke above a long-term downtrend line that had been acting as resistance dating back to the early 1990s.

It has “been a long time since the Nikkei 225 index broke above this resistance line, make that a couple of decades (20 Years)! Time and time again the Nikkei has created lower highs, failing to get above this falling resistance line until recently,” said Kimble.

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