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The Japanese Economy Has Some Good News
05/22/2015 7:00 am EST
Although not out of the woods yet, Mary-Lynn Cesar of Kapitall.com explores how the Japanese economy is finally starting to put up some positive numbers and she offers a list of six Japanese stocks that are trading up to 3% below their 52-week highs.
Don't call it a comeback just yet, but the Japanese economy is finally showing signs of life.
The third-largest economy in the world is starting the year on the right foot. On Wednesday, the government revealed that the Japanese economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.4% in the first quarter, its fastest pace in a year. The figure was a marked improvement from the 1.1% growth recorded between October and December 2014 and it beat the 1.5% forecast over at The Wall Street Journal.
Japan isn't out of the woods just yet, though. Inventories rose, which indicates that consumption remains a hurdle for the country. The buildup in unsold goods contributed a whopping 0.5 percentage point to the GDP—more than business and housing investment and consumption—which grew by 0.6% in the quarter. If inventories are removed from the equation, the Japanese economy's annualized rate of growth falls to 0.4%.
It still remains to be seen whether Abenomics will be a success, but Wednesday's data could be a cautious endorsement of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic reforms.
To celebrate the Japanese economy's best performance in a year, here's a list of Japanese stocks that are trading up to 3% below their 52-week highs. They may not be at their best just yet, but they could be getting close.
Click on the interactive chart to view data over time.
1. Mizhuo Financial Group, Inc. (MFG): Provides various banking and financial services in Japan and internationally. Market cap at $49.98B, most recent closing price at $4.11.
The stock is trading -0.97% below its 52-week high.
2. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MTU): Provides various financial services to individual and corporate customers in Japan and internationally. Market cap at $104.57B, most recent closing price at $7.50.
The stock is trading -2.10% below its 52-week high.
3. Nidec Corporation (NJ): Engages in the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of small precision motors, mid-size motors, machinery, and electronic and optical components. Market cap at $22.08B, most recent closing price at $19.06.
The stock is trading -2.14% below its 52-week high.
4. Sumimoto Mitsui Financial Group, Inc. (SMFG): Provides various banking and financial products and services in Asia and the Oceania, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Market cap at $60.64B, most recent closing price at $8.84.
The stock is trading -2.74% below its 52-week high.
5. Sony Corporation (SNE): Designs, develops, manufactures, and sells electronic equipment, instruments, and devices for consumer, professional, and industrial markets worldwide. Market cap at $37.65B, most recent closing price at $32.61.
The stock is trading -2.25% below its 52-week high.
6. Toyota Motor Corporation (TM): Engages in the design, manufacture, assembly, and sale of passenger cars, minivans, and commercial vehicles. Market cap at $218.81B, most recent closing price at $139.52.
The stock is trading -4.47% below its 52-week high.
(List compiled by Mary-Lynn Cesar. Monthly return data sourced from Zacks Investment Research. All other data sourced from FINVIZ.)
By Mary-Lynn Cesar of Kapitall.com
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