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Japan Nikkei Surges 7.71% To 18,770

It is rare that any major national stock market rises 7.7% (with the exception of China, where it may fall as much the next day). Japan’s Nikkei rose that much yesterday. Call it a relief rally. Worries about the volatility of the Chinese markets have faded, GDP problems in China has been digested, and Europe and U.S markets have rallied

The surge allows the Japanese to briefly forget how badly off their economy is. Passed by China last year, it is now the third largest country in the world based on GDP. It has hugged the line just above recession since the Great Recession. Its world leading car and consumer electronics strength has nearly disappeared. Its population is aging, and it faces supporting the aged more than any other country. Longevity has turned out to be a burden.

Efforts by the Bank of Japan have not done much to help the economy. Like many of the world’s largest nations, the central bank has run out of tools to help having both bought fixed income paper and lowered interest rates near zero.

The one day rally is nearly unprecedented. So it the period during which Japan’s economy has been in a shambles.

By Douglas A. McIntyre