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Japan By The Numbers

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Profile on Japan: Japan’s economy is the second largest in the world in terms of GDP, after the United States, with an estimated $2.8 trillion GDP for 2007. Despite Japan's economic strength, the Nikkei 225-stock average is currently lagging its global counterparts in our World Markets Challenge (see current leaders here). Here are some key stats on Japan's economy and markets.

Economy:

  • Japan’s top exports in 2007 included electrical machinery, accounting for $132.8 billion, followed by transportation equipment at $130.4 billion, and non-electrical machinery at $116.5 billion, according to The Economist data

    • Japan’s top export destinations in 2007 included the United States, accounting for 22.4% of total exports, followed by China at 13.1%, and South Korea at 7.8%
    • The Bank of Japan has maintained interest rates at 0.5% since February 21, 2007
    • The Japanese yen has appreciated by approximately 1.89% year-to-date versus the US dollar, trading at 109.60 yen per dollar

    Markets:
    Established on May 15, 1878, the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) is the most prominent stock exchange in Japan, and one of the largest stock exchanges in the world by market value. The Nikkei 225 index is a price-weighted average including the most predominant companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

    • The Nikkei 225-stock average traces its roots back to May 16, 1949
    • The Nikkei reached a record intraday high of 38,957.44, hit on December 29, 1989
    • It is off by 66.7% from its record closing price of 38,915.87, set on December 29, 1989
    • From 12/06 to 12/07, the Nikkei was down 11.13%
    • So far this year, the Nikkei closed in negative territory 79 times of the total trading sessions in 2008, or 51.63% of the time
    • Year-to-date, the index is down 15.4%

    Here are some Japanese companies listed in the US (almost all are down).

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