RTTNews - The Japanese stock market shrugged off a weak start and rebounded into positive territory in early trading on Monday, but faltered subsequently with investors indulging in profit taking after recent strong rallies.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended the morning session at 10,328.32, down 0.28% or 28.51 points from its previous close. Earlier, the index had surged to 10,380.6 after opening at 10,355.2. On Friday, the Nikkei had ended with a gain of 191.62 points or 1.89% at 10,357.
Construction, food and chemicals stocks exhibited a mixed trend. Machinery and non-ferrous metals stocks were also trading mixed in the morning session. Steel stocks are mostly down in the red.
Bank stock Mitsubishi UFJ Financial moved up following the bank reporting a sharp 48% year-on-year jump in net profit to 75.9 billion yen in the April-June quarter, while revenue rose 10% to 191.9 billion yen. The stock was up nearly 5% at the end of the morning session.
Resona Holdings, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial, Bank of Yokohama, Mizuho Financial Group, Shinsei Bank and Chuo Mitsui Trust Holdings also edged higher.
Nissan Motor hit a new high for the year and was trading up by about 5% on strong results for the April-June quarter. The unveiling of its electric car 'Leaf' which is to be rolled out in the U.S. and Japan has also triggered hectic buying at the Nissan Motor counter today.
Toyota Motor and Suzuki Motor also surged higher. However, Isuzu Motors, Honda Motor and Hino Motors are seen struggling for support.
Shares of Credit Saison Co. moved up sharply this morning, extending its gains to a fifth straight session on the back of reports that Mizuho Financial Group Inc. will likely strengthen its capital and business tie-up with the company, raising its stake in the credit card player from 10.2% as of the end of June to as much as 14.9%, with voting rights. The stock is up nearly 4% up this morning.
Nitto Denko surged higher and hit a new year-to-date high at 3,170 yen this morning following the company stating that the group net profit will likely fall 33% year on year to 12 billion yen in the April-September period, an upgrade from the previous estimate of a 94% decline to 1 billion yen. Amid a recovery in demand for LCD panels, sales of related Nitto Denko materials like optical films have partly recovered, leading to the improved profit picture. A weaker yen is also contributing to the stock's sharp rise.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded at the upper 94 yen level this morning, little changed from its levels in New York late Friday. In early trading, the dollar fetched 94.62-67 yen against Friday's close of 94.62-72 yen in New York and 95.60-61 yen in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 94.73 to the U.S. dollar.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, New Zealand and Korea are trading higher, while Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan are down in negative territory. Stock markets across the region had finished largely on the upside on Friday.
On Friday, Wall Street ended on a mixed note. While the Dow ended up by 17.15 points or 0.2% at 9,171.61, the tech-heavy Nasdaq drifted down by 5.80 points or 0.3% to 1,978.50. The S&P 500 rose 0.73 points or 0.1% to 987.48.
The GDP report from the commerce department revealed that the U.S. economy continued to shrink by a slower than expected margin, but trader sentiment was hit to an extent as consumer consumption came in far lower than expected.
According to the data, gross domestic product fell at a pace of 1% for the second quarter after economists had expected GDP to fall at a rate of 1.5%. Personal consumption figure showed a decrease of 1.2%, significantly more than what economists had been expecting.
Major European markets closed modestly lower on Friday, with the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index and the German DAX index both finishing down by 0.5%, while the French CAC 40 index dipped by 0.3%.
Crude oil turned sharply higher again on Friday and closed at a four-week high. A better-than-expected U.S. gross domestic product report boosted the outlook for energy demand. Light sweet crude for September delivery surged to US$69.45, up US$2.51 on the session. Prices touched as high as US$69.74 after earlier hitting a low of US$64.96.
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