Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi's gamble of tying the fate of his government to postal reform paid off handsomely as his LDP party pulled off a convincing victory in yesterday's election.
There were other news to cheer investors in Japan today.
Revised data on Monday showed gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.8 percent in April-June in real price-adjusted terms, beating both the initial reading for a 0.3 percent increase and economists' consensus forecast of a 0.4 percent rise.
The third straight quarter of expansion was buoyed by strong corporate investment and private consumption, as well as a rebound in exports...
On an annualised basis, GDP expanded 3.3 percent, much stronger than an initial estimate of a 1.1 percent rise and economists' median forecast of a 1.5 percent gain and putting Japan on a par with U.S. economic growth during the same period...
Separate data showed on Monday that Japan's current account surplus rose 0.8 percent in July from the same month a year earlier to 1.6498 trillion yen ($15.09 billion). Exports were up 4.6 percent but the trade surplus narrowed as the pace of rises in imports exceeded that of exports due to higher oil prices.
Investors in Japan obviously liked the news. The Nikkei 225 was up 204 points today, closing at 12,896.43.
While the Japanese market has been focused on the election, the US market has been focused on the effects of Hurricane Katrina. My latest article is on the "Outlook for stocks in the aftermath of Katrina".