RTTNews - The stock market in Japan ended in positive territory on Wednesday as traders brace themselves for earnings from major companies. Optimism about global recovery also lifted market sentiment as the market bucked the weak sentiment across the region and ended in the green.

In the U.S., stocks ended on a mixed note with major averages closing on either side of the unchanged line amid yet another low volume trading as traders digested weak economic numbers and earnings.

On the economic front, a report released by the Conference Board revealed that consumer confidence deteriorated by more than expected in the month of July, reflecting less favorable assessments of both current conditions and near-term outlook. The Conference Board said that its consumer confidence index fell to 46.6 in July from an unrevised 49.3 in June. Economists had been expecting a much more modest decline by the index to a reading of about 49.0.

In another report, Standard and Poor's revealed that its S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index fell at an annual rate of 17.1% in May compared to the 18.1% decrease reported for April. Economists had expected the report to show that prices fell 17.9% year-over-year. On a monthly basis, S&P said that 13 of the 20 metro areas reported positive returns, contributing to the first monthly increase by the 20-city composite since the summer of 2006. The 20-city composite index rose 0.5 percent for the month.

Traders also digested earnings of Valero Energy (VLO), Amgen (AMGN), Manitowoc (MTW) and Office Depot (ODP).

While the Nasdaq closed up by 7.62 points or 0.4% at 1,976, the Dow fell by 11.79 points or 0.1% to 9,097 and the S&P 500 slipped by 2.56 points or 0.3% to 980.

The Nikkei 225 Average opened sharply lower at 10,036 compared to its previous close of 10,087 lower commodity prices and mixed closing in Wall Street. However, the market recovered and moved above the unchanged line ahead of earnings. Optimism about global recovery also lifted sentiment. , but drifted into negative territory as traders preferred to take profits. The index ended with a gain of 25.98 points, or 0.26% at 10,113. However, the broader Topix Index of all first section issues ended in positive territory with a gain of 0.23 points to 930.

Light sweet crude oil for September delivery ended the Asian trading session at $66.53, down $0.70 from its previous close in New York at $67.23 a barrel on Tuesday.

Yahoo Japan Corp gained 6.95% after stating that the web portal expects a 8.3% rise in earnings for the six-month period ended September 30. Softbank, which has 41% stake in Yahoo Japan, advanced 4.39%.

Japan's largest oil refiner, Nippon Oil edged up 0.19% after the company said it expects a net profit for the full fiscal year close to its previous forecasts. The company had earlier reported a 51% drop in profit for the April-June quarter.

Hitachi gained 5.12% after JP Morgan Chase raised the rating and outlook for the company. Softbank

Nippon Steel Corp. slumped 3.45% after reporting that its first-half net loss will probably be wider than earlier projected.

Shipping stocks continued to slide for the third day on expectations of loss. Kawasaki Kisen shed 2.49%, Nippon Yusen fell 2.74% and Mitsui OSK Lines slumped 4.04%.

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