After a fairly strong start and a subsequent mild retreat, the Japanese stock market rallied smartly on Friday with investors indulging in some hectic buying at several counters, buoyed by a firm close on Wall Street overnight.
The yen's weakness against the U.S. dollar and some encouraging earnings reports are also contributing to the market's rise.
Precision instruments, automobile, financial, glass & ceramics and non-ferrous metals stocks are mostly up in positive territory. Pharmaceuticals, railway, oil and communications stocks are trading mixed.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which eased to 9,097 after opening around 9,120, is currently up 62 points or 0.7 percent at 9,154.8.
Okuma Corp, the top gainer in the Nikkei index, is up nearly 4 percent. Nippon Sheet Glass, Dainippon Screen Manufacturing, Hitachi Zosen Group, Casio Computer, Sumitomo Metal Industries, JFE Holdings, Alps Electric and Mitsui Mining & Smelting are all trading higher by over 3 percent.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Nippon Yusen KK, Dowa Holdings, Pacific Metals, Nomura Holdings, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Hino Motors, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Sumitomo Chemicals, Nippon Soda and Toshiba are also trading sharply higher.
Meanwhile, Japan Tobacco, Tokyo Electric Power, Furukawa, Yahoo Japan, Toho Co, Shinsei Bank and Tokyo Dome are trading notably lower, losing 1 to 2.2 percent from their last closing levels.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the lower 79 yen range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 79.36 to the dollar.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand are trading notably higher. Shanghai, Malaysia and Singapore are up marginally, while South Korea is trading weak. Markets across the region had turned in a mixed performance on Thursday.
On Wall Street, stocks moved mostly higher on Thursday after showing a lack of direction early on in the session. The markets benefited from a positive reaction to quarterly results from Cisco as well as remarks by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Despite paring some gains towards the end of the session, the major averages posted solid gains. The Dow rose 85.3 points or 0.7 percent to 13,250.1, the Nasdaq jumped 31.5 points or 1 percent to 3,062.4 and the S&P 500 advanced by about 10 points or 0.7 percent to 1,415.5.
Major European markets too closed higher on Thursday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index closed just above the unchanged line, the German DAX index and the French CAC 40 index advanced by 0.7 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil ended higher on Thursday, extending gains to a third consecutive day. Supply concerns due to tension in the Middle Ease and a weak dollar contributed to oil's rise.
Crude for September delivery gained $1.27 or 1.4 percent to close at $95.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
by RTT Staff Writer
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