The Japanese market opened higher on Thursday, after seven successive days of losses, with investors indulging in some buying amid optimism about U.S. coroporate earnings and on renewed hopes about a solution to the eurozone economic crisis.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which rose to 9,492 in early trades but declined to 9,450 subsequently, is currently trading at 9,480, up 21.3 points or 0.2 percent from its previous close.
Shares from mining, securities, rubber, gas and transport sections moved higher in early trading but have since then given up some gains. Pharmaceuticals, paper, marine transport and real estate stocks are trading weak.
Shares of Hitachi Construction Machinery moved up nearly 3% after the company said its operating profits will see a significant surge in FY 2012.
Furukawa Electric Co. shares are up nearly 3.5 percent. Mitsui Chemicals, Fujikura, Teijin, Hino Motors, Fanuc, Kajima Corp and Panasonic Corp are trading higher by 1.7 to 2.5 percent.
Among the prominent losers in the Nikkei index, Kawasaki Kisen, Sumco Corp, Mitsui OSK Lines and Aozora Bank are down 3 to 3.5 percent.
Nippon Yusen KK, NGK Insulators, Nitto Boseki, Unitika and Advantest Corp are trading lower by 2 to 2.8 percent.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded around 81 yen in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 80.95 to the U.S. dollar.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore are trading notably higher. Shanghai and Hong Kong are up with modest gains, while Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea are trading weak. Markets across the region ended mostly lower on Wednesday.
On Wall Street, stocks surged higher on Wednesday with investors reacting positively to upbeat results from aluminium giant Alcoa. Despite closing well off their best levels of the day, the major averages posted fairly strong gains.
The Dow ended up 89.5 points or 0.7 percent to 12,805.4, the Nasdaq rose 25.2 points or 0.8 percent to 3,016.5 and the S&P 500 surged 10.1 points or 0.7 percent to 1,368.7.
Major European markets also closed on a firm note on Wednesday. While the German DAX index advanced by 1 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index and the French CAC 40 index gained 0.7 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil futures closed higher on Wednesday, notwithstanding a more-than-expected increase in U.S. oil stockpiles for the week ended April 6. A weak dollar and a rebound in U.S. and global equity markets contributed to oil's upmove. Light Sweet Crude Oil futures for May delivery, gained $1.68 or 1.7 percent to close at $102.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
by RTT Staff Writer
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