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Japanese Market Modestly Higher

The Japanese stock market is modestly higher on Monday, recouping some of the losses in the previous three sessions, with the Nikkei 225 breaking above the 26,00 mark, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday, boosted by exporters and financial stocks. Traders also continue to pick up stocks at a bargain after the recent sell-off.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is up 71.49 or 0.28 percent at 26,007.11, after touching a high of 26,258.86 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply lower on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 2 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is losing almost 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is adding almost 1 percent and Toyota is gaining more than 1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is losing almost 1 percent, Tokyo Electron is down 1.5 percent and Screen Holdings is declining almost 2 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mizuho Financial are edging up 0.5 percent each, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is edging up 0.2 percent.

The major exporters are mostly higher, with Sony is gaining almost 2 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is adding almost 1 percent and Panasonic is up more than 1 percent, while Canon is losing almost 1 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Tokyo Electric Power is soaring almost 10 percent, while M3, Mitsubishi Corp., Rakuten Group, Recruit Holdings, Kansai Electric Power, Japan Exchange Group and Chubu Electric Power are gaining more than 6 percent each.

Conversely, J. Front Retailing is losing more than 5 percent, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings is slipping more than 4 percent, Sekisui House is down almost 4 percent and Taiyo Yuden is declining more than 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the 135 yen-range on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks showed wild swings over the course of the trading session on Friday before ending the day sharply higher. With the strong upward move, the major averages regained some ground after moving notably lower over the past few sessions.

The major averages saw further upside in the final hour of trading, reaching new highs for the session. The Dow jumped 321.83 points or 1.1 percent to 31,097.26, the Nasdaq advanced 99.11 points or 0.9 percent to 11,127.85 and the S&P 500 shot up 39.95 points or 1.1 percent to 3,825.33.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a lackluster performance on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index closed just below the unchanged, the French CAC 40 Index inched up by 0.1 and the German DAX Index edged up by 0.2 percent.

Crude oil prices moved higher Friday on concerns about supply outages in Libya and shutdowns in Norway caused by striking workers. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended higher by $2.67 or 2.5 percent at $108.43 a barrel. WTI crude oil futures rose 1 percent in the week.

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