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Current Futures: Dow -25.00, S&P -3.30, NASDAQ -4.75

Asian markets are heading higher, but so far, the regional indexes have managed to post only relatively small gains. Moreover, the trading volume was very light, with the Nikkei finishing the first half of the trading session on the lowest volume recorded over the last four months. 

The worst performer in the Nikkei index was the electronic maker NEC, after rumors emerged that it plans to raise as much as $1.6 billion in fresh capital, by issuing new shares. NEC tumbled 11% during the intra-day session, even though the company denied such rumors. TheLFB-Forex.com Trade Team commented that Asian investors are very reluctant towards sales shares, since it dilutes the current shareholder stakes. However, this is a very popular method used by European companies when looking to increase their capital base.

On the other hand, the Japanese real estate sector led the gains in the Nikkei, after the sector was raised to “overweight” by analysts. Out of the major 11 real estate companies listed in the Nikkei, every one advanced on Thursday night, some being among the day’s best performing companies. This is a very notable thing for the Japanese real estate sector since many parts of the market still feel the aftermaths of the asset bubble that exploded in the early 1990’s.

Overnight, the Japanese Nikkei added 39.34 points (0.42%) to 9,383.50. The Australian S&P/Asx rose 0.40 points (0.01%) to 3,996.00

Crude oil for August delivery was recently trading at $62.00 per barrel, up by $0.50. 

Gold for August delivery was recently trading lower by $2.60 to $935.20. 

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