Win by Japan at WBC likely to lift stock market: report

A win by Japan's national team at the World Baseball Classic will likely lift stock prices in the country, an asset management company has said in a report that analyzed market trends based on the past four tournaments.

The latest championship started Wednesday, with Samurai Japan aiming to reclaim the trophy for its third title, something Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co. believes would strengthen investor sentiment and induce the buying of issues linked to baseball goods makers and restaurants where the games can be watched.

After Japan won the first WBC on March 22, 2006, the benchmark Nikkei index ended the day 832 points higher than the level marked just before the team's opener on March 3.

Similarly, in 2009, the Nikkei ended up 1,054 points following Japan's back-to-back title.

While Japan was eliminated in the semifinal in 2013 and 2017, the Nikkei rose 954 points and 111 points, respectively, during the period from just before the first match to before the semifinal.

In 2009, according to the report, Tokyo stocks fluctuated, due in part to developments in the final between Japan and South Korea in the United States.

Shares moved narrowly during the close game, but the Nikkei advanced after Ichiro Suzuki delivered the winning hit, reaching the highest mark of the day when the championship trophy was awarded to Japan, the report said.

"The whole of Japan was happy, and that had a positive effect on investor sentiment," said Akiyoshi Takumori, chief economist at the company.

Takumori believes that the latest tournament, which features a star-studded lineup of players, will attract more attention than ever before.

This year's WBC, originally scheduled for 2021, expands from 16 teams to 20, with four five-team first-round pools. Japan's Pool B includes China, Australia, South Korea and the Czech Republic.

Japan will face China in its Pool B opener at Tokyo Dome on Thursday.

© Kyodo News