RTTNews - The stock market in Japan ended at a 11-month high on Wednesday following Wall Street cues where better-than-expected economic data on consumer confidence index and home price index lifted market sentiment and reinforced confidence about growth prospects .
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index ended at 10,640, representing a gain of 142.35 points, or 1.35%, while the broader Topix index of all first section stocks rose 10.48 points, or 1.09%, to 976.
On the economic front, the Ministry of Finance revealed that merchandise trade balance surplus for July was 380.2 billion yen, slightly below the 390 billion yen surplus forecast following the revised 507.5 billion surplus in June. July exports decreased 36.5% compared to a year earlier, versus forecasts for a 38.4% annual decline after the 35.7% contraction in June. Exports fell 1.3% month-on-month, the first monthly drop in two months. Imports in July declined 40.8% year-on-year, beating expectations for a 42.5% annual decline after the 41.9% fall in the previous month.
In a separate report, the Bank of Japan, in a preliminary report, said that an index measuring corporate services prices in the country declined 3.4% year-on-year during July.
Light sweet crude oil price for October delivery ended at $72.18 a barrel in electronic trading, up $0.13 from its previous close $72.05 a barrel in New York on Tuesday.
Automakers advanced on expectations of rise in demand. Toyota Motor gained 1.48% after the company revealed that it is contemplating to reduce the overall global production, that might result in reducing its losses. Honda Motor added 0.67%, Nissan Motor advanced 0.74%, and Mitsubishi Motor rose 0.59%.
Bank stocks also ended higher on optimism about recovery. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial added 0.51%, Mizuho Financial climbed 0.44%, Resona Holdings advanced 0.78% and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial rose 0.99%.
Trading stocks also advanced on optimism about recovery. Toyota Tsusho Corp. rose 3.02%, Sumitomo Corp. advanced 0.92%, Mitsui & Co., added 0.40% and Itochu Corp. gained 0.44%.
Reports in the press revealed that NEC Corp, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. are finalizing an agreement to provide $2.1 billion in finance aid to NEC Electronics which is pursuing a merger with Renasas to become the largest chipmaker in the country. NEC Corp. advanced 3.02%, Hitachi Ltd added 0.30% and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. remained unchanged from previous close.
In the U.S., stocks ended modestly higher on Tuesday following upbeat economic data on consumer confidence index for August and slowdown in the pace of decline in S&P/Case-Shiller house price index for June, that more than offset the new projections of near-record budget deficits totaling roughly $1.58 trillion for 2009 from the Congressional Budget Office and the White House. The reappointment of Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve Chairman for the second-term also lifted the sentiment.
The Dow closed up 30.01 points or 0.3% at 9,539, the Nasdaq closed up 6.25 points or 0.3% at 2,024 and the S&P 500 closed up 2.43 points or 0.2% at 1,028.
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