RTTNews - The stock market in Japan ended the last day of the second quarter of calender year 2009 on a positive note, with the gains driven by Wall Street gains, rising commodity prices and institutional buying. However, caution ahead of key economic reports such as the results of the quarterly Tankan Survey and the June employment report from the U.S trimmed the gains.
In the U.S, the major indices ended Monday's session in positive territory, although the upward move was unconvincing due to low volumes.
The Dow closed up 90.99 points or 1.1% at 8,529, the Nasdaq closed up 5.84 points or 0.3% at 1,844, and the S&P rose 8.33 points or 0.9% to 927.
The Nikkei 225 Average opened sharply higher at 9,866 compared to its previous close of 9,783, led by commodity stocks. Institutional buying on the last day of the quarter also propped up the market to move past the psychological 10,000-mark briefly. However,the index trimmed some of its gains before ending up 174.97 points, or 1.79% at 9,958. The broader Topix Index of all first section issues rose 14.44 points, or 1.6% to close at 927.
Light sweet crude August delivery continued to move northward and ended at $72.85, up 96 cents in the Asian session after breezing past the $70 a barrel mark and ending Monday's session in New York at $71.49 with a gain of $2.33 a barrel amid increasing supply concerns following th escalation of violation in Nigeria.
On the economic front, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare revealed that average household spending rose 0.3% year-on-year in May, compared to expectations for a 1.5% decline. In April, household spending declined 1.3% year-on-year. In a separate report, the Ministry revealed that the unemployment rate was 5.2% in May, marking its highest level since September 2003.
Metal stocks led the gains on higher commodity prices. Nippon Steel gained 3.64%, JFE Holdings advanced 2.20%, Kobe Steel rose 3.45% and Sumitomo Metal Industries increased 2.80%.
Trading companies gained after the local currency weakened against the U.S greenback. Mitsubishi Corp. gained 1.65%, Toyota Tsusho Corp advanced 4.06% and Mitsui & Co rose 2.06%.
Oil stocks gained on rising crude oil prices. Inpex Corp. surged UP 5.03%, Nippon Oil Corp gained 2.70%, Nippon Mining Holdings advanced 3.29% and Showa Shell edged up 0.79%.
Mixed trend was witnessed among the financial stocks. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group added 0.50%, Mizuho Financial rose 2.62%, Bank of Yokohama gained 2.58% and Fukuoka Financial Group advanced 1.89%. However, Resona Holdings edged down 0.07% and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial slipped 0.25%.
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