The Tokyo Stock Exchange has reclaimed top spot in Asia in total market capitalization of listed companies in U.S. dollar terms, data showed Monday, some three-and-a-half years after it ceded the title to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average is trading close to its all-time high as Tokyo shares make a stellar start to 2024, helped by an economic slowdown in China leading investors in Asian markets to move funds to Japan.

Japan Exchange Group, Inc. is now the fourth largest bourse operator globally by total market cap of stocks listed on its exchanges, according to preliminary data from the World Federation of Exchanges, a British-based industry group for exchanges. The TSE accounts for the vast majority of the JPX bourses' market capitalization, according to JPX officials.

Photo shows a stock ticker display at the Tokyo Stock Exchange in October 2023. (Kyodo) 

The federation's figures show that as of the end of January, firms listed on the group's exchanges were valued at around $6.34 trillion (950 trillion yen), compared to Shanghai's approximately $6.04 trillion.

When Shanghai overtook Tokyo in July 2020, its listed firms had a total market cap of around $6.03 trillion to the roughly $5.55 trillion valuation of TSE together with other bourses run by Japan Exchange Group.

"There is a sense of uneasiness spreading among investors as property industry woes slow the Chinese economy and the country's government strengthens controls against IT firms," Ayako Terada, a strategist at Nomura Securities Co. said.

Terada added that it is "becoming more difficult to invest in China" due to geopolitical risks, including a rift between the United States and China that has fueled a trend toward creating global supply chains that are not reliant on China.

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