Tags: long term | bullish | Japanese | stocks

Some Investment Experts Bullish Long Term on Japanese Stocks

By    |   Tuesday, 04 March 2014 11:59 AM

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average has tumbled 9.6 percent so far this year amid concern about slow growth in the countries that buy Japan's exports and the effectiveness of the country's accommodative monetary policy.

But some analysts and portfolio managers are bullish for the long term, in light of reasonable valuations, expectations of solid earnings growth and anticipation of continued central bank easing, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The Nikkei soared 57 percent in 2013 on optimism over Japan's stimulative fiscal and monetary policy.

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As for valuations, large-cap Japanese stocks are trading at an average price of about 14 times estimated earnings over the next 12 months, Stephen Parker, a portfolio manager at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, tells The Journal. That compares with 15 for U.S. blue chips, he notes.

And Parker expects Japanese corporate earnings to register 10 to 15 percent growth this year, compared with 6 to 8 percent for the United States.

Meanwhile, Japan's consumption tax increase that's scheduled to begin April 1 could dampen consumption and thus push the Bank of Japan to increase its easing, Joe Zidle, a portfolio strategist at Richard Bernstein Advisors, tells The Journal.

To be sure, Japan has some obstacles to overcome, experts say.

"The market has very high expectations of [Prime Minister Shinzo] Abe, but the fact is that he has an uphill task to get growth going again," Peter Elston, head of Asia-Pacific strategy at Aberdeen Asset Management, tells The New York Times.

"You have a population that is declining and you have, as in every other developed economy, low productivity growth. Those headwinds are very hard to counteract."

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InvestingAnalysis
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average has tumbled 10.6 percent so far this year amid concern about slow growth in the countries that buy Japan's exports and the effectiveness of the country's accommodative monetary policy.
long term,bullish,Japanese,stocks
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2014-59-04
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 11:59 AM
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