Japan, Vietnam and Taiwan were top-performing Asian stock markets in 2013

02 January 2014   Category: News, Asia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam   By Hui Ching-hoo

Asian stock markets delivered mixed performance in 2013 amidst volatile external and domestic market conditions.

Galvanised by Abenomics, Japan’s stock market topped its peers as the best performing market in the region. Its benchmark Nikkei 225 Index was 57% up for the whole year. 

Vietnam was the second best performing market in Asia as its benchmark VN Index racked up an increase of 21.97% in 2013. Taiwan’s stock market also enjoyed a bullish run during the year in which the benchmark TSEC weighted index grew by 11.85%.

China struggled in 2013, mainly due to bearish market sentiment relating to the economic slowdown. Its benchmark SSE Composite Index and SZSE Component Index shed 6.7% and 11%, respectively. Despite its close economic relationship with mainland China, Hong Kong’s stock market still managed to deliver a positive return. Its benchmark Hang Seng Index edged up 2.8% over the previous year.

Korea’s economy was hit by the weakening Japanese yen, which undermined the country’s export competitiveness and resulted in decreased trading volumes. The KOSPI Composite Index was down by around 20 points for the year.

Singapore’s stock market ran out of steam in the second half of last year when talk of US tapering was rife. As a result, the performance of the Straits Times Index was almost on a par with 2012.