RTTNews - The stock market in Japan ended in positive territory on Tuesday following Wall Street, where the major indices rallied on hopes about the housing market. Financial stocks advanced following reports that three major banks intend to repay TARP funds borrowed from the Federal Reserve, fueling speculation that the worst in the financial crisis might be nearing an end. The strengthening of the US dollar against the local currency and higher crude oil prices, also supported stocks.

In the U.S., traders considered a report from the National Association of Home Builders that said its index of homebuilder sentiment rose to 16 in May, compared to a level of 14 in April. The figure was the best reading since September, fueling speculation that the housing sector is bottoming and economic recovery may be around the corner. Further, the report indicated that attitudes of homebuilders improved for both the present situation and for the next several months.

The Dow closed up 235.44 points or 2.85% at 8504, the Nasdaq finished up 52.22 points or 3.11% at 1732 and the S&P 500 closed higher by 26.83 points at 910.

In Asian trading, crude oil ended higher by $1.12 at $60.15 a barrel in electronic trading. On Monday, light sweet crude for June delivery ended at $59.03 a barrel.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index added 251.60 points or 2.80% to 9,290 and the broader Topix Index of all First Section Issues advanced 20.05 points or 2.30% to 877.

The major gainer in the market is Asahi Glass, which rose more than 9% following a revision in its rating by Daiwa Securities. The brokerage raised the stock to buy from neutral.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan's biggest bank, gained 4.22%, Sumitomo Mitsui added 0.53%, and Resona Holdings rose 2.23%. Brokerage Nomura Holdings surged 3.72%.

Among exporters, Canon gained 4.44%, Sony rose 3.31% and Sharp added 2.29%. Automaker Toyota advanced 3.37% and Honda Motor added 0.93%.

Oil-related stocks ended in positive territory on higher crude oil prices. Inpex advanced 5.37%, Showa Shell added 0.58%, and Nippon Oil gained 3.47%. Trading house Mitsubishi Corp. gained 3.17%, Sumitomo Corp. advanced 1.62% and Itochu Corp rose 4.86%.

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