RTTNews - With some upbeat U.S. economic data confirming signs that the global economy is on the recovery path, the mood in the Japanese stock market is fairly bullish on Wednesday.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which rose to 10,587 earlier this morning, is currently trading at 10,557, up 60 points or 0.57% over its previous close. On Tuesday, the Nikkei had ended lower by 83.69 points, or 0.79%, at 10,497.

Chemicals and pharmaceuticals are mostly trading in positive territory. Non-ferrous metals are also trading firm, while steel stocks are exhibiting a mixed trend.

In the machinery space, Daikin Industries, Hitachi Construction Machinery, JTEKT Corp. and NTN are trading higher. Among electric machinery stocks, Pioneer Corp., Fujitsu, NEC Corp., Fuji Electric Holdings and Clarion are trading sharply higher.

Among automobile stocks, Toyota Motor Corp. shares edged higher today on an overnight rise on Wall Street and in Europe. Another positive trigger for the stock is a report that the automaker will cut output capacity to about 1 million units per year globally as early as fiscal 2009. The stock is currently trading up by nearly 2%.

Honda Motor, Nissan Motor and Mazda Motor are up modestly, while Suzuki Motor and Hino Motors are trading weak.

Bank stocks are mostly trading in positive territory, though with modest gains. Shares of insurance, trading companies and securities firms are also up in positive territory.

In economic news, Japan's merchandise trade surplus widened for the second straight month in July, the Ministry of Finance said today. The surplus rose 364.2% to Y380.2 billion from Y81.9 billion in the same period a year earlier. The figure was lower than the Y396.9 billion surplus expected by economists. July was the sixth straight month of surplus, following June's surplus of Y508.0 billion. Exports fell by 36.5% for the tenth straight month. The figure was down 35.7% in June. Imports declined by 40.8% for the ninth straight month, after falling 41.9% in June.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar fetched 93.89-93.94 yen in early trading today against Tuesday's close of 94.12-94.22 yen in New York and 94.31-94.32 yen in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 94.01 to the U.S. dollar.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia is trading notably higher. Korea and New Zealand are up modestly, while Singapore is trading flat. Taiwan, however, is trading weak with its benchmark index drifting lower by about 0.8%. Stock markets across the region had closed mostly lower on Tuesday.

On Wall Street, stocks finished modestly higher on Tuesday, as the day's positive economic reports and news of Ben Bernanke's reappointment generated some upbeat sentiment. Buying interest was largely sparked by the day's economic data, with a report from the Conference Board showing that consumer confidence rebounded significantly in the month of August after seeing some deterioration in July.

The Dow closed up 30.01 points, or 0.3%, at 9,539.29, the Nasdaq closed up 6.25 points, or 0.3%, at 2,024.23 and the S&P 500 closed up 2.43 points, or 0.2%, at 1,028.00.

Major European markets ended moderately higher on Tuesday, with the German DAX index and the French CAC 40 index closing up 0.8% and 0.6%, respectively, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index climbed 0.4%.

Oil prices turned sharply lower on Tuesday as profit-takers collected on a rally to a 10-month high to US$75 per barrel. Light sweet crude for October delivery dropped to US$72.05, losing US$2.32 on the session. Earlier, oil hit US$75 for the first time since October.

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