The Japanese stock market is trading firm on Wednesday with investors indulging in some brisk buying at several counters, tracking cues from the U.S. and European markets where stocks posted strong gains overnight amid expectations of additional monetary easing. The yen's marginal decline against the euro is also contributing to the positive mood in the market.
Automobile, steel, non-ferrous metals, financial, construction and retail stocks are mostly trading notably higher. Shares from communications, glass & ceramics and chemicals sections are also trading firm.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which rose to 8,740.7 in early trades, is currently up 72.7 points or 0.8 percent at 8,728.6.
Mitsubishi Paper Mills shares are up nearly 7 percent. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings is trading higher by nearly 5.5 percent. NEC Corp, Daiwa Securities, Tokyo Dome, Nippon Sheet Glass, Oji Paper and Yahoo Japan are up 3.5 to 4 percent.
Hokuetsu Kishu Paper Co. and Daio Paper Corp are trading sharply higher on reports that Hokutesu will by a 20 percent stake in Daio Paper Corp.
Dai-ichi Life Insurance, Sumitomo Realty, Chubu Electric Power, Sony Corp, Nomura Holdings, Fujitsu, Aozora Bank, Oki Electric Industry, Panasonic Corp, Shinsei Bank, Resona Holdings, J Front Retailing and Kobe Steel are also up with sharp gains.
Meanwhile, TDK Corp, Fanuc Corp, Chiyoda Corp, Fast Retailing, Nippon Light Metal, Taiyo Yuden and Isuzu Motors are trading lower.
On the economic front, Japan saw a merchandise trade deficit of 907.25 billion yen in May, the Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday. That was well shy of forecasts for a deficit of 583.0 billion yen following the 520.3 billion yen shortfall in April.
Exports jumped 10.0 percent on year, beating forecasts for an increase of 9.7 percent after rising 7.9 percent in the previous month. Imports climbed an annual 9.3 percent, well above expectations for a rise of 3.3 percent after climbing 8.0 percent a month earlier.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded around the 79 yen-range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 78.93 to the dollar.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan are trading notably higher. Malaysia is up marginally, while New Zealand is trading notably lower. Markets across the region turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday.
On Wall Street, stocks ended with solid gains on Tuesday with traders expressing continued optimism about the likelihood of further stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
The major averages gave back some ground in the latter part of the trading day but still closed firmly in positive territory. The Dow gained 95.5 points or 0.8 percent to 12,837.3, the Nasdaq jumped 34.4 points or 1.2 percent to 2,929.8 and the S&P 500 climbed 13.2 points or 1 percent to 1,358.
Major European markets ended sharply higher on Tuesday. The German DAX index gained 1.8 percent, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index and the French CAC 40 index both jumped by 1.7 percent.
U.S. crude oil futures settled higher on Tuesday, ahead of the Federal Reserve Open Committee meeting, with investors anticipating further quantitative easing to be forthcoming this time from the central bank. Prices also found support in some encouraging U.S. housing data and Spain achieving its target at a bond sale auction, albeit at high costs.
Crude for July delivery gained $0.76 or 0.9 percent to close at $84.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
by RTT Staff Writer
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