The Japanese stock market opened higher on Friday with the yen's decline against the U.S. dollar and the overnight positive close on Wall Street lifting sentiment to a significant extent and triggering heavy buying almost across the board.
Machinery, steel, non-ferrous metals, banking, automobile, real estate and retail stocks opened notably higher and are still trading with strong gains.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index opened with a positive gap of nearly 220 points at 13,583.8, is currently up 340 points or over 2.5 percent, at 13,705.2.
With the mood quite upbeat, only five stocks out of the 225 stock strong Nikkei index are currently trading in negative territory.
JTEKT Corp., J Front Retailing, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Citizen Holdings, Toshiba Corp., Mitsumi Electric, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Tokyo Tatemono, Credit Saison, Sumitomo Realty & Developoment and Sumitomo Metal Mining are up 4 to 6 percent.
Panasonic Corp. (PC), JFE Holdings, Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Casio Computer, Oki Electric Industry, Fujifilm Holdings, Sony Corp. (SNE), Konica Minolta and Dai-ichi Life Insurance are all trading higher by 3 to 4 percent.
Automobile stocks Mazda Motor, Hino Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Isuzu Motors, Nissan Motor, Honda Motor (HMC), Toyota Motor and Suzuki Motor are up 3 to 6 percent.
In the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (MTU), Shizuoka Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group are trading higher by 2.3 to 3 percent, while Aozora Bank, Bank of Yokohama, Chiba Bank, Mizuho Financial Group (MFJ) and Shinsei Bank are up 1 to 2 percent.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the upper 98 yen range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen, which fell to its lowest levels in more than three weeks, is currently trading at 98.96 to the U.S. dollar.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Shanghai are trading notably higher. Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore are up with modest gains.
On Wall Street, stocks surged higher on Thursday, due largely to bargain hunting after recent losses. A fairly encouraging report on initial jobless claims and some positive economic data out of China and Europe too aided the surge.
The major averages all ended the day firmly positive, although the Dow underperformed its counterparts. The Dow rose 66.2 points or 0.4 percent to 14,963.7, while the Nasdaq jumped 38.9 points or 1.1 percent to 3,638.7 and the S&P 500 advanced 14.2 points or 0.9 percent to 1,657.
Major European markets too closed on a firm note on Thursday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index advanced by 0.9 percent, the French CAC 40 index and the German DAX index jumped by 1.1 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil ended higher on Thursday, after some better-than-expected manufacturing activity data from China improved demand growth outlook for oil. Crude for October delivery ended up $1.18 or 1.1 percent at $105.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
by RTT Staff Writer
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