Most markets across Asia-Pacific region are closed today on the eve of Good Friday, except Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan, which were open for trading. All the markets open for trading ended in positive territory, taking cues from Wall Steet, where the major indices gained more the 3% each on better-than-expected economic data.
On Thursday, the Dow closed up 246.27 points or 3.14% at 8,083, the Nasdaq closed up 61.88 points or 3.89% at 1,653 and the S&P 500 closed up 31.40 points or 3.81% at 857.
The New York Mercantile Exchange is closed on the eve of Good Friday. Light sweet crude for May delivery rose about 6% or $2.86 to $52.34 a barrel on Thursday, following better-than-expected results from retailers suggesting a possible rise in consumer spending.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index, having opened higher at 9,041 compared to its previous close of 8,916, ended at 8,964, up 48.05 points or 0.54%, and the broader Topix index of all First Section Issues gained 4.16 points to close at 846.
On the economic front, the Bank of Japan reported that M2, which measures the supply of money, increased 2.2% year-on-year during March to a daily average balance of 746.3 trillion yen. M2 rose 0.1% from previous month, the bank noted. The central bank further stated that M3, broader measure of money supply, increased 1.3% year over year during March to 1,044.6 trillion yen, and 0.1% higher from previous month.
Automakers ended higher on hopes of global recovery. Honda Motor gained 1.05%, Hino Motors advanced 5.84% and Isuzu Motors soared 12.32%. Toyota Motor remained unchanged from previous close.
Among the major exporters, Canon added 2.91%, Sony advanced 4.23% and Sharp gained 2.22%. Trading houses are ended in positive territory. Mitsubishi Corp. moved up 2.66%, Sumitomo Corp. gained 1.85% and Itochu advanced 2.64%.
Oil stocks also ended in positive territory. Inpex gained 1.45%, Showa Shell advanced 2.34%, and Nippon Oil rose 4.55%.
Financials slumped following concerns about the viability of the U.S banks.Unexpected loss declared by Sumitomo Mitsui for the quarter and plans to sell new shares to shore up captial also weighed on the market. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial, which reported a net loss of 390 billion yen, or $3.84 billion, plunged 13.85%. Mitsubishi UFJ lost 0.96%, Mizuho Financial fell 9.89%, and Resona Holdings dropped 3.63%.
In Seoul, the benchmark KOSPI Index ended higher at 1,336, up 19.69 points, or 1.50%, traking the gains on Wall Street overnight. .
Among the financials, KB Financial Group edged up 0.66%, Shinhan Financial ganed 1.17% and Woori Finance soared 8.03%.
Among shipbuilders, Hyundai Heavy Industries gained 1.46%, Samsung Heavy Industries advanced 3.36% and Daewoo Shipping rose 3.07%.
Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics rose 3.97%. Among the other technology stocks, Hynix Semiconductor declined 4.26%, but LG Electronics moved up 0.50% and LG Display advanced 2.56%.
In the auto space, Hyundai Motors slipped 1.22% while Kia Motor remained unchanged from previous close. However, Ssangyong Motor gained 2.69%.
Among oil-related stocks, S-Oil added 2.07% and while SK Holdings gained 0.51%.
Among the other major markets open for trading in the region, China's Shanghai Composite Index advanced 64.35 points, or 2.70% to close at 2,444, and Taiwan''s Weighted Index gained 114.16 points, or 2.61% at 5,782.
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