FINANCIAL MARKETS: Beware the Triple Whammy

Beware the Triple Whammy

During the 1980s, the Japanese spoke of the "Triple Merits" that were driving the Tokyo stock market's extraordinary rise: a strong yen, low interest rates and falling oil prices. Now that the Tokyo market is on a rocky slide, investors have labeled the culprits the Triple Demerits: a weakening yen, growing inflation and rising interest rates. The triple whammy has sent the Nikkei index down nearly 15% so far this year. In one session last week the index dived 1,569 points, or 4.5%, the biggest one-day loss since the 1987 crash. The index lurched up and down for the rest of...

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