The Nikkei just smashed to an 18-year high

The Nikkei stock index hit a new 18-year high during trading on Wednesday, climbing past a peak set in 2000, and reaching levels last seen before the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

Japan’s stocks have a mixed history: They’re still barely halfway back to where they were in 1989, before the equity bubble burst (and the Nikkei peaked at 38,957.44), but they have surged in the last two and a half years.

Here’s how the last few years look:

Since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was elected at the end of 2012, promising an economic programme of fiscal and monetary stimulus, the Nikkei has risen by almost 100%.

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