Nominal exports valued in yen increased 18.1% from the same month last year in August, following July’s 13.4% rise, overshooting the 14.7% increase that market analysts had expected. The expansion, the fastest since November 2013, was driven by growing sales to the rest of Asia, which rose 19.9%, and an acceleration in growth of exports to North America, which went up from a 13.0% increase in July to 22.9% in August. The external sector is benefiting from a weak yen and stable global demand. Growth in imports moderated from 16.3% in July to 15.2% in August. The print overshot the 11.8% rise that markets had expected. The strong growth in imports are a clear indication of strong domestic activity. The trade surplus went from a JPY 350 million deficit in August 2016 to a JPY 114 billion surplus in August 2017. Accordingly, in the 12 months leading up to August, the trade surplus inched up to JPY 3.3 trillion, which was higher than the JPY 3.2 trillion surplus recorded in the previous month. - Edward Gardner, Economist at FocusEconomics
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) governor Haruhiko Kuroda kept the interest rates and asset buying program intact in the recent policy meeting.The BOJ maintained a negative 0.1% interest rate, which was widely anticipated by the markets. BOJ also maintained its stance on buying bonds amounting to 80 trillion yen annually. Critics are arguing if the current policy is sufficient to achieve the 2% inflation target of the BOJ in fiscal 2019 - Zack's Investment Research
According to data for the first week of September (Sept. 4-8) released by the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday, foreign investors sold more Japanese shares than they bought by a total of 294.8 billion yen ($2.67 billion) on the first and second sections of the TSE and the Nagoya Stock Exchange, as well as the startup markets.
As a result, their net purchases since the second week of November 2012 (Nov. 12-16) came to 13.7 trillion yen. That figure has fallen consistently since reaching more than 20 trillion yen in the middle of 2015.
During the same period, cumulative purchases of exchange-traded funds by the BOJ, excluding new-type ETFs added to the central bank's ETF-buying program for monetary easing, totaled 13.9 trillion yen as of Thursday.
Foreign investors account for roughly 70% of trading in Japanese shares, but they tend to opt for near-term trading. - WSJ Nikkei Asian Review