In the U.S., stocks ended in positive territory, led by a modest rally in late session, characterized by low volumes after a report that showed an increase in new home sales boosted optimistic expectations of a recovery in the world's largest economy.
A report released by the Commerce Department revealed that new home sales jumped by 11% in June, the sharpest increase in nearly nine years. According to the report, new home sales rose to an annual rate of 384,000 in June from the revised May rate of 346,000. Economists had expected sales to rise to 352,000 from the 342,000 originally reported for the previous month.
Traders also digested positive earnings from RadioShack (RSH), Tellabs (TLAB) Corning (GLW) Verizon (VZ) and Honeywell (HON).
The Dow closed up by 15.27 points or 0.2% at 9,109, the Nasdaq climbed by 1.93 points or 0.1% to 1,968 and the S&P 500 rose by 2.92 points or 0.3% at 982.
The Nikkei 225 Average opened sharply higher at 10,117 compared to its previous close of 10,089, but drifted into negative territory as traders preferred to take profits. The index lingered in negative territory for the rest of the session and ended with a loss of 1.40 points or 0.01% at 10,087. However, the broader Topix Index of all first section issues ended in positive territory with a gain of 1.87 points, or 0.20%, at 930.
Light sweet crude oil for September delivery ended the Asian trading session at $68.47, up $0.09 from its previous close in New York at $68.38 a barrel on Monday.
Steel stocks gained on expectation of more demand from China after Goldman Sachs revised its ratings for JFE Holdings and Sanyo Special Steel. JFE Holdings surged up 7.25% and Sanyo Special Steel rose 13%.
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. gained 3.91% after Nomura Holdings Inc. recommended buying the bank. Among others, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial edged up 0.36% and Mizuho Financial remained unchanged at previous close. Resona Holdings edged down 0.78% on profit taking.
Brokerages fell on profit taking. Daiwa Securities edged down 0.54% and Nomura Holdings slipped 0.61%.
Hitachi slumped 3.60% as investors were apprehensive of the company's plan in connection with the spending on the affiliates. Monday, the company revealed that it would convert five of its affiliates in to wholly-owned subsidiaries.
Mixed trading was witnessed in shipping stocks. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines edged down 0.83%, Kawasaki Kisen ended unchanged and Nippon Yusen gained 0.75%.
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