The Japanese stock market is trading higher on Thursday with the overnight positive close on Wall Street triggering some strong buying at several counters. However, with a section of investors choosing to take profits at higher levels, the market pared some of its early gains.
Automobile, retail, precision instruments, rubber and financial stocks opened on a firm note and are still mostly trading in positive territory. Electric power, shipbuilding and transport stocks are trading mixed.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which rose to 9,631, is currently trading at 9,581, up 20 points or 0.2 percent from its previous close.
Trend Micro, Advantest Corp, Fuji Electric, Nippon Yusen KK, Konami Corp, Ricoh, Kawasaki Kisen, Nippon Electric Glass, Yokogawa Electric, J Front Retailing and Nippon Soda are up 2 to 3 percent.
Among bank stocks, Shizuoka Bank, Chiba Bank, Bank of Yokohama, Shinsei Bank and Aozora Bank are up 1.8 to 2.5 percent. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Mizuho Financial and SMFG are also trading notably higher.
In the automobile space, Mazda Motor is up 2.5 percent. Hino Motors and Mitsubishi Motors are also up with strong gains, while Nissan Motor, Isuzu Motors, Suzuki Motor and Toyta Motor are trading modestly higher.
Fanuc Corp. shares are down nearly 6 percent after the company forecast lower operating profit.
Hitachi Construction Machinery is trading lower by about 3 percent and Nomura Holdings is down with a loss of 2.3 percent. Chubu Electric Power, Fast Retailing and JFE Holdings are down 1 to 2 percent.
According to data released by the Finance Ministry, foreigners were net sellers of Japan bonds and stocks last week. Foreign residents sold 63.1 billion yen more in Japan stocks than they bought for the week ending April 21, the data showed. Foreigners sold a net 6.7 billion yen worth of Japan based bonds and notes for the week.
Japan residents, meanwhile, were net purchasers of 43.2 billion yen worth of foreign stocks for the week. They were net sellers of 1.17 trillion yen in foreign bonds for the week.
According to another report from the finance ministry, Japan's trade deficit in early April came at 455.1 billion yen, up from a deficit of 172.9 billion yen a year earlier.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the lower 81 yen range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 81.37 to the U.S. dollar.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, Malaysia, Shanghai and South Korea are trading modestly higher. New Zealand and Taiwan are down marginally, while Singapore is trading flat. Markets across the region turned in a mixed performance on Wednesday.
On Wall Street, stocks ended with notable gains on Wednesday with traders reacting positively to better than expected quarterly results from tech giant Apple Inc.
The Dow rose 89.2 points or 0.7 percent to 13,090.7, the Nasdaq surged up 68 points or 2.3 percent to 3,029.6 and the S&P 500 climbed 18.7 points or 1.4 percent to 1,390.7.
Major European markets too ended on a firm note on Wednesday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index edged up by 0.2 percent, the German DAX index and the French CAC 40 index gained 1.7 percent and 2 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil futures settled higher on Wednesday, notwithstanding the jump in U.S. crude stockpiles for the week ended April 20 and the Federal Reserve indicating no major shift in its accommodative monetary policy.
Crude for June delivery gained $0.55 or 0.5 percent to close at $104.12 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
by RTT Staff Writer
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