Nikkei 225

Industrials account for almost 30% of the Nikkei 225, Japan’s major stockmarket index. Most are major exporters, so the market is not only highly sensitive to the global business cycle, but also to the level of the yen.

A strong currency has been a key reason why the index has struggled of late. Consumer services, technology, basic materials and oil and gas, along with cars and car parts (which form a third of the consumer goods segment), are also economically-sensitive sectors. They are jointly worth over 40% of the index.

Only healthcare and telecoms, along with the rest of the consumer goods sector, are classically defensive.

• See Tim Bennett’s video tutorial: What is an index?