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Bulls Stampede Into Japan ETFs


In recent sessions, DXJ (WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity) continues to impress, reeling in more than $1.3 billion and nearing the $10 billion mark now in terms of net AUM ($9.8 billion). EWJ (iShares MSCI Japan) also pulled in nearly $600 million last week, as the hunger for exposure to Japanese equities continues unabated.

There is certainly no shortage of coverage of the stampeding bull market in Japanese equities that has occurred thus far in 2013, and the related trading activity in the two largest ETFs in the category, DXJ and EWJ.

With these two funds reeling in $5.4 billion and $7.3 billion respectively just year to date, the two funds collectively now command more than $21 billion in assets under management. [Japan ETFs: Nikkei Tops 15,000]

Even though the lion’s share of activity tends to occur in these two funds, they are not alone in the Japan Equity category in terms of seeing large upticks in turnover and fund flow action this year.

Some of the unsung names in the category are beginning to get some attention as well, such as DFJ (WisdomTree Japan Small Cap Dividend, Expense Ratio 0.58%).

The fund has seen its AUM approach $300 million thanks to $86 million in net inflows so far this year and as its name states, provides small cap exposure to Japan’s equity market whereas EWJ and DXJ have not just large cap slants, but “megacap” biases in terms of their market cap based portfolio weightings.

NKY (MAXIS Nikkei 225, Expense Ratio 0.50%) and ITF (iShares S&P TOPIX 150, Expense Ratio 0.50%) have also seen upticks in activity this year (NKY now averages more than 1 million shares traded daily, and the fund is not even two years old yet) as more eyes, both from institutional portfolio managers as well as sell-side traders and arbitrageurs are on the Japanese equity markets thanks to the increase in daily interest here and the raging bull nature of its market.

For more information on Street One ETF research and ETF trade execution/liquidity services, contact Paul Weisbruch at pweisbruch@streetonefinancial.com.

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