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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: iShares MSCI Japan Minimum Volatility ETF, SPDR MSCI Japan Quality Mix ETF, Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta Japan Equity ETF and WisdomTree Japan SmallCap Dividend Fund

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 09, 2017 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include iShares MSCI Japan Minimum Volatility ETF (NYSEARCA:JPMV– Free Report), SPDR MSCI Japan Quality Mix ETF (NYSEARCA:QJPN– Free Report), Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta Japan Equity ETF (NYSEARCA:GSJY– Free Report) and WisdomTree Japan SmallCap Dividend Fund (NYSEARCA:DFJ– Free Report).   

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Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

4 Japanese ETFs to Scoop Up

The Japanese economy has long been at the receiving end of the beneficial easy money policy, which has put the economy on the growth path. Though Japanese inflation is yet to pick up meaningfully, an uptick in domestic demand as well as external demand is something investors should cheer for (read: Japan Economy on the Mend? ETFs in Focus).

As per Bank of Japan, the value of the country’s exports, adjusted for inflation, grew 3.9% in the first half of 2017 against the past six-month period.

Long Run of Economic Growth

A Reuters poll indicated that GDP in Q2 is expected to grow 2.5% year over year. The rate last scored in January-March 2016. On the other hand, Japan's GDP is expected to log six successive quarters of growth, which was last seen from January-March 2005 through April-June 2006. The expected 2.5% GDP growth would translate into 0.6% sequential growth after a revised 0.3% rise in the first quarter of this year (read: Japan's Exports Rise Fastest in 2 Years: ETFs in Focus).

Upbeat Consumer Sentiment

The Japanese economy has been facing labor crunch, which in turn is likely to push up wages. As per BlackRock, “wages are rising just enough [in Japan] to bolster domestic consumption without eroding profit margins.” Unemployment has dropped to a 25-year low in Japan and the job-to-applicant ratio is at an all-time high.

This is good news for consumer sentiment and spending. The Consumer Confidence Index in Japan increased to 43.8 in July of 2017 from 43.3 in June and surpassed market consensus of 43.6. This was the highest reading in consumer confidence since March.

Plus, higher stock prices are creating a wealth effect. Private consumption, which makes up about 60% of GDP, will likely grow 0.5% in the second quarter, following a 0.3% rise in the January-March period.

Compelling Valuation

Robust earnings reports from major companies should draw investor attention too. Blackrock expects Japanese companies’ earnings growth to touch a three-year high in 2017. Also, Blackrock believes that “Japanese stocks appear inexpensive on the global stage. They are trading at a 20% discount to U.S. peers on a 12-month forward price-to-earnings basis.”

ETFs to Buy

iShares MSCI Japan Minimum Volatility ETF (NYSEARCA:JPMV – Free Report)

The Nikkei Stock Average Volatility Index has been roaming around its decade-low levels. Strategists are now fearing volatility in the second half. This explains why JPMV is a good pick now. The index of the fund reflects the performance of a minimum variance strategy applied to the large and mid-cap Japan equity universe.

SPDR MSCI Japan Quality Mix ETF (NYSEARCA:QJPN – Free Report)

The underlying index of the fund tracks the equity market performance of Japanese companies picked on the basis of three factors - value, quality, and low volatility.

Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta Japan Equity ETF (NYSEARCA:GSJY – Free Report)

The fund captures common sources of active equity returns, including value, momentum, quality and volatility of Japan issuers.

WisdomTree Japan SmallCap Dividend Fund (NYSEARCA:DFJ – Free Report)

The fund looks to track the performance of dividend-paying small capitalization companies in Japan.

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About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performancefor information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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ISHARS-MS JP MV (JPMV): ETF Research Reports
WISDMTR-JP SC D (DFJ): ETF Research Reports
SPDR-MSCI JSF (QJPN): ETF Research Reports
GS-ACTBTA JP EQ (GSJY): ETF Research Reports
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