After a blow-out 2013, Japan's stock market seems to have lost its luster, but according to global research house Capital Economics the Nikkei is set for a dramatic turnaround.
"The prospect of renewed outperformance in the Nikkei is good, especially with the possibility of further aggressive stimulus," Julian Jessop, chief economist at Capital Economics said at the company's annual conference in Singapore on Wednesday.
Capital Economics sees the Nikkei rallying 20 percent from its current level of around 14,093 to 17,000 by fiscal year end in March 2015. It expects the index to reach 18,500 by March 2016.
This would mark a dramatic turnaround for the Nikkei which has fallen 13.2 percent year to date, giving up a large chunk of last year's 55 percent rise.
Concerns over the impact of a consumption tax hike in April coupled with uncertainty over Japan's structural reforms led some investors to lose faith in Abenomics - the aggressive plan unveiled by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2013 to revitalize the economy through monetary stimulus, fiscal spending and structural reform.
Capital Economics shares these concerns, but believes further aggressive monetary stimulus from the Bank of Japan (BOJ) will reinvigorate the country's stock market, propelling it higher over the coming years.
The Abe administration will raise the minimum wage by 3 percent each year starting next fiscal year as part of a package of policies aimed at strengthening consumer spending and stoking economic growth. (Japan Times)
A former member of the Hyogo Prefectural Assembly who gained Internet notoriety when he suffered a breakdown during a news conference failed to show up Tuesday for the start of his fraud trial. (Japan Times)
Three bodies have been retrieved from a boat found floating in the Sea of Japan off the coast of Fukui Prefecture on Sunday, two days after a similar discovery in waters off a neighboring prefecture, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 23). (Tokyo Reporter)