Japanese stocks advanced over a volatile quarter. Early gains were driven by increasing confidence in efforts by the government and central bank to revive the economy, which appeared to be reinforced by the election victory of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partners in the Upper House. Stocks gave back some of their gains in August as investors worried over the timing of the U.S. Federal Reserve's change in monetary policy and a possible U.S.-led military strike against Syria. Japanese stocks recovered after the U.S. Federal Reserve decided not to scale down its quantitative easing program in September, and the market was further bolstered by Tokyo's victory in its 2020 Olympic Games bid. Nearing the close of the quarter, the market fell marginally on the U.S. government shutdown. All sectors rose over the quarter, led by steel and non-ferrous metals, real estate, and commercial and wholesale trade. The smallest advances came from electric power and gas, pharmaceuticals, and foods.
The Japan Fund returned 7.40% in the quarter compared with 7.36% for the TOPIX Index. For the 12 months ended September 30, 2013, the fund returned 32.75% versus 30.86% for the TOPIX Index. The fund's average annual total returns were 32.75
%, and 5.11
% for the 1-
, and 10-year
periods, respectively, as of September 30, 2013
. The fund's expense ratio was 1.14
% as of its fiscal year ended October 31, 2012. Continue Reading »