RTTNews - The stock market in Japan ended in positive territory on Wednesday as traders picked up stocks that are sensitive to global demand on expectations that companies might consider rising prices if demand picks up. Technology stocks led the gains following better results from Apple Inc. Volume was relatively modest as investors preferred to move to sidelines ahead of the earnings season in the country set to begin tomorrow.

Despite showing choppiness for the better part of the session, the major U.S. averages ended Tuesday's session higher, propelled by the optimism generated by positive earnings news. Better-than-expected results from Caterpillar (CAT), Coca-Cola (KO), Dupont (DD), Merck (MRK) and United Technologies (UTX) and increasing hopes about recovery prospects overshadowed the cautionary remarks of Bernanke who reiterated that the the economy is still in a fragile state, with unemployment high and consumer spending shaky. Bernanke, however, acknowledged that the U.S. economy is showing signs of stabilization and that the stimulus package that authorities pumped into the global economy late last year probably helped to avoid a collapse of the financial system.

The Dow advanced 67.79 points or 0.8% to 8,916, the Nasdaq climbed 6.91 points or 0.4% to 1,916 and the S&P 500 rose 3.45 points or 0.4% to 955.

The Nikkei 225 Average opened slightly lower at 9,643 compared to its previous close of 9,652 and drifted lower on profit taking in early trading. However, technology stocks led the gains and lifted the index above the unchanged line on expectations that rise in global demand might induce companies to raise prices. Increasing optimism about recovery prospects also improved sentiment amid modest volumes and the market finally ended the session at 9,723, up 71.14 points, or 0.74%. The broader Topix Index of all first section issues rose 5.03 points, or 0.6%, to 907.

Light sweet crude oil for September delivery ended the Asian trading session at $65.28, down $0.33 from its previous close in New York at $65.61 on Tuesday.

Technology-related stocks advanced following better results from Apple Inc. (AAPL). Toshiba Corp., maker of flash memory chips, surged up 5%.

Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., engaged in the manufacture of silicon wafers, gained 4.7% after reporting that it is in negotiations with customers to increase the prices. Sumco Corp, the second largest maker of silicon wafers, rose 4.64%.

Steel stocks gained on expectations of rise in steel prices. JFE Holdings surged up 6.1% and Nippon Steel gained 2.27%.

Property stocks declined on concerns that the recovery might not be quick but a painfully slow one. NTT Urban Development Corp. declined 4.5% and Nomura Real Estate Holdings shed 2.5%.

Mixed trading was witnessed among the banking stocks. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial edged up 0.18%, Mizuho Financial gained 3.57% and Resona Holdings advanced 0.98%. However, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group bucked the trend and slipped 0.53%.

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