Nikkei 225

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The Nikkei 225 index, named for the Japanese business newspaper that calculates it, is the most widely quoted benchmark of Japanese large-cap stock performance. It trades most commonly on global markets as ETFs and futures contracts.

Brief History[edit]

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average is a price-weighted average of the top 225 Japanese companies in the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and was first published by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun ("Nikkei") newspaper in 1949.[1] Its closest competitor is the S&P/TOPIX 150, which represents 150 highly liquid, large-cap Japanese stocks and 70% of total equities market value.[2]

Movements in the Nikkei 225 are nowadays more closely correlated with the yield for 10-year U.S. Treasury bills than with any other non-Japanese market factor, according to one analysis.[3] Downward pressure on T-bill yields such as lower Federal Reserve interest rates is currently also holding down the Nikkei 225, the author argues, which will rise when 10-year T-bill yields go north.

Trading Vehicles[edit]

Both Nomura Asset Management[4] and Daiwa Asset Management[5] offer Exchange Traded Funds(ETFs) tracking the Nikkei 225, both listed on the Osaka Securities Exchange. Barclay's Global Capital lists an iShares Nikkei 225 ETF on Germany's Deutsche Borse[6].

Chicago's CME Group also lists dollar-denominated futures and options on futures contracts on the Nikkei 225 that are eligible for the Mutual Offset System (MOS) and so can clear either through the CME or the Singapore Exchange.[7]