RTTNews - The Japanese stock market opened on a firm note Wednesday as higher oil and commodity prices buoyed up resource-related stocks.
The benchmark index Nikkei opened 0.5% up at 9,833.64 and is currently trading firm at 9,875.27, up 88.45 points or 0.9% over its previous close. The Nikkei had ended 0.8% down at 9,786.82 on Tuesday.
Automobile stock Toyota Motor moved up after orders for the auto industry rose 10.5% from March, for the second straight month of growth. Suzuki, Honda and Nissan are also trading firm with notable gains.
Steel and non-ferrous metals stocks are trading firm. JFE Holdings, Pacific Metals and Nippon Steel are leading the charge from the steel pack, while Sumitomo Metal Mining, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Toho Zinc and Mitsubishi Materials are among the top gainers in the non-ferrous metals space.
Machinery, trading, insurance and communications stocks are mostly trading firm. Banks are also doing well with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial, Sumitomo Trust and Banking, Chiba Bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Mizuho Financial, Chuo Mitsui Trust Holdings and Mizuho Trust & Banking posting smart gains.
Chemicals and pharmaceuticals stocks are exhibiting a mixed trend. Foods stocks are in demand.
Shares of Cosmo Oil Co. are trading firm following an announcement from the company that it will establish a joint venture to produce petrochemical material paraxylene with major South Korean oil firm Hyundai Oilbank Co. in South Korea. The company said it targets sales of 200-300 billion yen in 2013, boosting investor expectations for increased profits.
In economic news, the Japanese core machinery orders fell a seasonally adjusted 5.4% in April from the previous month, the Cabinet Office said Wednesday. The market had forecast a slight increase from the previous month.
According to data released by the Bank of Japan, the corporate goods price index slipped 5.4% on the year in May.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the mid-97 yen zone early Wednesday in Tokyo, little changed from its levels overnight in New York. This morning, the dollar fetched 97.41-46 yen, compared with Tuesday's quotes of 97.33-43 yen in New York and 98.16-18 yen in Tokyo.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia and Korea are trading firm with their benchmark indices moving up by 1.75% and 1.57% respectively. Markets in Shanghai, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan are also trading higher. The stock markets across the region had finished Tuesday's session moderately lower.
On Wall Street, the Dow ended flat after a choppy ride on Tuesday, losing 1.43 points to 8,763.06. The Nasdaq closed up 17.73 points at 1860.13 and the S&P 500 index edged up 3.29 points to 942.43.
The U.S. Department of Treasury announced that 10 of the largest U.S. financial institutions that borrowed money from the Treasury are planning on paying back their loans. President Barack Obama praised the move, noting that the government has turned a profit from the first round of repayments. He also offered cautious optimism that the financial system is stabilizing.
Major European markets closed mixed for the session. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index drifted lower by less than a tenth of a percent and the German DAX Index fell by 0.1 percent, whereas the French CAC 40 Index finished up by 0.2 percent.
Crude oil closed above US$70 per barrel on Tuesday for the first time this year as the Energy Information Administration boosted its short-term energy outlook. Light sweet crude for July delivery climbed to US$70.01 per barrel, up US$1.92 on the session, its best close since November 4. Crude touched as high as US$70.18, challenging the multimonth intraday high of US$70.32 reached last week.
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