The Japanese market opened notably higher on Monday with investors tracking a positive lead from Wall Street and indulging in some brisk buying at several blue chip counters. The yen's weakness against the U.S. dollar too contributed to the firm start.
Steel, non-ferrous metals, insurance, marine transport, shipbuilding and precision instruments stocks are mostly trading higher. Oil, foods, retail, chemicals and pharmaceuticals stocks are trading mixed.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which surged to 9,222.9, is currently trading at 9,211.6, up 49.1 points or 0.5 percent from its previous close.
Nippon Paper Group, Dainippon Screen Manufacturing, Mitsui Chemicals, Mitsubishi Chemicals, Oji Paper, Alps Electric Power, Toho Zinc and Olympus Corp are trading higher by 2.5 to 4 percent.
Advantest Corp (ATE), Nippon Electric Glass, Sumco Corp, Trend Micro, Nippon Sheet Glass, Casio Computer, Olympus Corp, Panasonic Corp, Sony Corp (SNE), Daiichi Sankyo and JFE Holdings are also trading notably higher.
Meanwhile, Sharp Corp is trading lower by over 3.5 percent. Amada Co., Mitsubishi Paper Mills, Mitsubishi Corp, NGK Insulators, Inpex Corp, Shinsei Bank, JX Holdings, Komatsu and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust are down 0.8 to 1.4 percent.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the mid-79 yen range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 79.62 to the dollar.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong and Shanghai are trading notably lower. Taiwan and South Korea are down with modest losses and Australia is down marginally, while New Zealand is trading modestly higher. Markets in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are closed for Eid-ul-Fitr, the Muslim holiday that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
On Wall Street, stocks posted modest gains after a choppy session on Friday. Better-than-expected economic news aided sentiment to an extent and triggered some buying interest.
The Dow ended up 25.1 points or 0.2 percent at 13,275.2, the Nasdaq rose 14.2 points or 0.5 percent to 3,076.6 and the S&P 500 closed up 2.7 points or 0.2 percent at 1,418.2.
Major European markets too ended higher on Friday. While the Germany's DAX 100 index climbed 0.6 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index and the French CAC 40 index moved up by 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil surged higher on Friday after early weakness. Light sweet crude oil futures for September delivery gained $0.41 or 0.4 percent to close at $96.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
by RTT Staff Writer
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