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 resignation Monday of Yuko Obuchi, Japan's industry minister, was a heavy blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the cabinet he named last month. And there are concerns in the government and ruling parties that Obuchi is only the first in a string of coming cabinet resignations. (Nikkei)
Check the locks on all the Colonel Sanders statues in Osaka, because the Hanshin Tigers are headed back to the Japan Series and it was a big home run from a bearded foreign star that helped get them there. (Japan Times)
The government on Friday approved Central Japan Railway Co.'s plan to construct the Linear Chuo Shinkansen line, paving the way for the 2027 start of magnetic levitation train service connecting Tokyo and Nagoya in 40 minutes. (The Japan News)
Osaka Prefectural Police on Friday arrested two male suspects for allegedly dumping a large quantity of adult video (AV) material inside a park in Nishinari Ward, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Oct. 17). (Tokyo Reporter)
Empress Michiko celebrated her 80th birthday on Monday. In a statement distributed to media by the Imperial Household Agency, the empress said she hoped the world could find peace ahead of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II next year. (Japan Today)
The Nagano prefectural government's disaster response headquarters said Thursday it has decided to end its search this year for missing hikers on Mt. Ontake due to the growing risk of secondary accidents. (The Japan News)