Will 3 Days in a Row of Market Holidays in Japan Be Felt in Asian Equities?

Jon C. Ogg

Japan has endured one of the greatest efforts of quantitative easing measures. Abenomics has tried and tried to rekindle some inflation and growth in Japan, but now the Asian equities markets will have to trade without Japan leading off for the first three days of the week.

This may not seem like much of a big deal to U.S. investors. Still, Japan is the world’s first major stock market that opens the global equities trading each day of the week. Imagine if the United States was closed for a weekend, and then closed for three consecutive business days.

The three Japanese holidays this week are as follows:

  • Monday, September 21, “Respect for the Aged Day”
  • Tuesday, September 22, “Bridge Holiday”
  • Wednesday, September 23, “Autumn Equinox Day”

The Nikkei 225 Index closed down 362 points at 18,070.21 on Friday, a drop of almost 2%. The Nikkei has a 52-week range of 14,529.00 to 20,952.70.

iShares MSCI Japan (NYSEMKT: EWJ) is the main Japanese exchange traded fund. Its most recent price of $11.51 in New York trading compares to a 52-week range of $10.73 to $13.35. The iShares website shows that it has $18.98 billion in net assets.

WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEMKT: DXJ) is the hedged ETF that tracks the broad market in Japan, but it has hedged against the yen to remove the currency risks for U.S. investors. It has $16.1 billion in assets, and at $49.81 it has a 52-week range of $45.68 to $60.59.

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