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 Japanese Bankers Association said Thursday the banking industry will launch a settlement system to allow instant fund transfers between banks 24 hours a day all year round in Japan from 2018. (Jiji Press)
The Chiba Public Safety Commission has banned a 29-year-old man from Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, from riding a bicycle for 90 days, after he was found guilty of cycling under the influence of "kiken" quasi-legal drugs. (Japan Times)
Heavy snow caused a power outage along parts of the Joetsu Shinkansen Line for about six hours on Sunday morning, leaving some 300 passengers trapped in a bullet train for 2½ hours near the mountainous southern border of Niigata Prefecture. (Japan Times)