Breakingviews

Rakuten jig highlights Japan’s warped benchmark

September 7, 2016

Shares of the shopping website leapt on news it would join the Nikkei 225. It shows the power of an arbitrary index weighted by share price instead of fundamentals like size or free float. The Bank of Japan's $60 bln-a-year push into index funds will only amplify the distortion.

MSCI can still afford to shun China stocks

June 2, 2016

The index compiler must once again decide whether to add mainland shares to global benchmarks. Though regulators have made some reforms, memories of last summer’s mass suspensions and state intervention are still fresh. Another delay would give China more reason to open up.

China index: Xi’s annus horribilis

February 1, 2016

Breakingviews’ Tea Leaf Index may have ended the year on a modest high, but a look back over 2015 shows China’s economy moving slowly. Sagging steel production, exports and rail freight contributed to the lowest 12-month average since President Xi Jinping first took office.

China index reveals economy of two halves

October 12, 2015

Breakingviews’ refreshed Tea Leaf Index shows the world’s second-largest economy running at different speeds. A shift towards tech, services and consumer goods should make for more sustainable growth. But traditional drivers like heavy industry and construction remain weak.

Japan index: Time to prime the third arrow

October 9, 2015

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s latest cabinet reshuffle has put his “Abenomics” back in the spotlight. Our index shows why he needs to give reform a fresh push. The summer ended with sluggish spending, flat prices and falling wages.

China index: Weaker growth on weaker foundations

July 2, 2013

China’s economy remains gloomier than this time last year as lower export growth and rail freight volumes make a grim follow-up to poor PMI readings. Sales of property, luxury liquor and posh cars prevent a steeper fall, but these are not the bright spots China needs or wants.

Japan index: markets put speed bump in Abe’s path

July 9, 2013

For the first time in six months, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic experiment stumbled in May amidst skittish stock and bond markets. But the drop in the Breakingviews Abenomics Index to 93.8, from 94.4 in April, may be temporary as deflation continues to ease.