New evidence of determinants of price momentum in the Japanese stock market
We investigate the cross section momentum effect in the Japanese stock market over the period January 1997 to December 2013, sub-periods before August 2008 and during the crisis September2008–2009. From previous studies, it follows that the Japanese market is the exception to the findings on developed capital markets (momentum effect does not occur or is weak). Our study highlights the limitation of standard notions; we document the conditional nature of momentum and identify the characteristics of companies and their stocks and market states, allowing investors to earn positive momentum profit in the Japanese market (the statistically significant positive monthly return of zero cost portfolios is not less than 1%). It is shown that investors should take into account the seasonal pattern (for the Japanese stocks this revealed two months when we do not recommend taking investment activity) to increase portfolio profits. We explain the results from the specifics of the Japanese financial and governance systems, the ownership structure of listed Japanese firms and socio-cultural factors.