RTTNews - The Japanese stock market is trading slightly higher on Monday after opening flat. Gains are limited as weaker-than-expected Japanese industrial production in May and a stronger yen weighed on the market. Investors also preferred to remain on the sidelines ahead of key domestic and overseas economic data due later this week.
In mid-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is gaining 28.66 points or 0.29% to 9906.05 and the broader Topix Index of all First Section Issues is adding 0.78 points or 0.08% to 927.58.
U.S. stocks finished Friday's session on a mixed note. A report from the Commerce Department showed that personal spending, incomes and savings all rose in May. However, investors were worried that the savings rate touched a 15-year high as it stoked concerns that demand in the world's largest economy will remain weak.
Crude oil fell on Friday amid demand concerns and lost the US$70 a barrel mark again. Light sweet crude oil for August delivery closed at US$69.16 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down US$1.07 for the session.
Increasing optimism about a global recovery helped the Japanese market to extend its gains on Friday, with the Nikkei 225 Index closing at 9,877, up 81.31 points or 0.83%. The Topix Index ended at 927, up 7.03 points or 0.76%.
On the economic front, industrial output in Japan jumped 5.9% in May compared to the previous month, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a preliminary report on Monday. That was lower than analyst expectations for a 6.9% increase following the 5.9% gain in April.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry also said that retail sales in Japan eased 2.8% on year in May, falling for the ninth consecutive month. That compares to forecasts for a 2.6% annual decline following the 2.8% contraction in April. On a monthly basis, retail sales were flat, in line with forecasts after the 0.6% increase in the previous month.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 95 yen range on Monday. In mid-morning trades, the dollar is trading in a range of 95.29-95.32 yen, down 0.63 yen from Friday's close of 95.92-95.94 yen in Tokyo.
In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ is down 0.33%, Resona Holdings is losing 0.07% and Mizuho Financial is declining 0.84%, while shares of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are up 0.50%. Brokerage Nomura Holdings is losing 1.32%. Daiwa Securities is down more than 12% after the company announced a $2.5 billion share sale, the company's first stock sale in twenty years.
In the tech space, Advantest is gaining 0.65%, Kyocera is up 0.54% and Tokyo Electron is advancing 1.75%. Shares of Elpida Memory rose more than 7% after the Nikkei business daily reported that the financial aid to the chipmaker over the next three years is likely to reach 200 billion yen. Among export-oriented stocks, Canon is losing 0.62%, Komatsu is down 1.05% and Sharp is up 0.30%.
Automakers are trading mixed. Honda is gaining 0.38% and Mazda is up 1.61%, while Toyota is losing 1.09% and Nissan is down 0.50%.
In the oil sector, Inpex is down 1.33%, Nippon Oil is losing 2.11% and Showa Shell is declining 1.26%. Among trading houses, Mitsubishi Corp is down 1.49%, Mitsui & Co. is losing 1.20% and Itochu is declining 1.35%.
Takeda Pharmaceuticals is losing almost 2% after the company said its key diabetes drug alogliptin failed to win approval from U.S. regulators The company added that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has asked it to conduct an additional safety study on the new drug, which will delay its launch by at least two years.
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