RTTNews - The stock market in Japan ended in positive territory on Thursday, following a mixed closing on Wall Street, on higher commodity prices and the weaker yen. Increasing optimism about global recovery following an unexpected rise in durable goods orders in the U.S, lifted market sentiment.
In the U.S, the major indices ended mixed after the Federal Reserve announced no change to its rate target and reiterated its commitment to the quantitative easing measures first announced in March. On the economic front, traders digested a report from the Commerce Department that showed that durable goods orders for May rose by 1.8%, matching a revised increase in April. The increase surprised economists, who had expected a decline of 0.9%. In a separate report, the Commerce Department said that new home sales slipped by 0.6 percent to an annual rate of 342,000 in May from a revised April rate of 344,000. Economists had expected sales to jump 2.3 percent to 360,000 from the 352,000 originally reported for the previous month.
The tech-heavy NASDAQ closed up by 27.42 points or 1.6% at 1,792 and the S&P 500 rose 5.84 points or 0.7% to 901, while the Dow declined by 23.05 points or 0.3% to close at 8,300.
The Nikkei 225 Average opened slightly higher at 9,628 compared to its previous close of 9,590. Increasing optimism about a global recovery helped the index move northward, with the average closing at 9,796, representing a gain of 205.76 points or 2.15%. The broader Topix Index of all first section issues ended at 920, up 17.31 points or 1.92%.
Light sweet crude for August delivery was little changed in the Asian session after ending down $0.57 at $68.57 per barrel in New York on Wednesday after the Energy Department's weekly inventory report showed a drop in crude stocks but a rise in gasoline supplies.
Exporters led the gains after the local currency weakened against the U.S. dollar. Canon advanced 2.19%, Fanuc Ltd gained 2.67% and Sony Corp. rose 2.03%. Mitsubishi Corp., added 4.43% and Marubeni Corp. climbed 3.82%.
Among automakers, Honda Motor Co. gained 2.34%, Hino Motor rose 3.65%, Isuzu Motors advanced 4.73 and Toyota Motor increased 3.68%.
Financials ended in positive territory on increasing optimism about recovery. Mitsubishi UFJ gained 2.02%, Mizuho Financial added 1.26%, and Resona Holdings advanced 2.35%. However, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial remained unchanged from previous close.
Nomura Holdings soared 4.77% after the management informed shareholders that the company will return to a profit and start paying dividends later in the year.
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