Buy the best of Japan

Article Excerpt

ISHARES MSCI JAPAN INDEX FUND $55.23 (New York symbol EWJ; buy or sell through brokers; us.ishares.com) is an ETF that tries to match the return of the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Japan Index. The fund’s top holdings include Toyota, 4.2%; Softbank, 2.6%; Keyence Corp. (sensors), 1.8%; Sony Corp., 1.8%; Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, 1.7%; Takeda Pharma, 1.6%; Sumitomo Mitsui Financial, 1.4%; Honda Motor, 1.4%; and Nintendo, 1.2%. The ETF’s MER is 0.50%. In the long term, Japan faces a labour shortage as its population ages, and it remains closed to immigration. In the short term, the trade dispute between the U.S. and China—two of Japan’s biggest export markets—is a worry. As well, the country imports almost all of its oil, so high oil prices hurt the economy. Despite these challenges, the Japanese economy remains sound and corporate earnings keep rising. In addition, the high U.S. dollar is a big plus for exporters. iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund is a buy. buy…

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