RTTNews - The stock market in Japan ended in positive territory on Friday following gains on Wall Street amid increasing hopes of a recovery despite mixed economic data. However, disappointing economic data raising concerns about the risk of deflation as well as caution ahead of the release of a few key economic data next week limited the gain.
In the U.S, the Dow snapped its four-day losses and ended sharply higher as traders did some bargain hunting in a number of embattled sectors that have trended lower for much of the past month. On the economic front, traders digested a report from the Labor Department showing that initial jobless claims for the week ended June 20th came in at 627,000, up from last week's revised figure of 612,000. In a separate report, the Commerce Department revealed first quarter GDP contracted by a revised 5.5% compared to the 5.7% decrease that had been reported in the preliminary report.
The Dow finished up by 172.54 points, or 2.08% at 8,472, the Nasdaq rose 37.20 points or 2.10% to 1,830 and the S&P 500 jumped 19.32 points to 920.
The Nikkei 225 Average opened higher at 9,853 compared to its previous close of 9,797. Increasing optimism about a global recovery helped the index extend the gains, with the average closing at 9,877, representing a gain of 81.31 points or 0.83%. The broader Topix Index of all first section issues ended at 927, up 7.03 points or 0.76%.
Light sweet crude August delivery ended at $70.64, up 30 cents in the Asian session after gaining $1.56 to $70.23 per barrel in New York on Thursday following reports of violence in Nigeria.
On the economic front, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry revealed that the index of all industry activity dropped 9.9% year-on-year in April, slower than a 11.9% fall in the preceding month. In a separate report, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said that consumer prices fell 1.1% year-on-year in May, with the decline coming in line with economists' estimate, after a 0.1% drop in the previous month, mainly due to lower prices for utilities, transport and communication.
Tire makers led the gains after Bridgestone, the largest tire-company in the world, stated that it expects to report a narrower loss for the first half of the year. The stock gained 8.5%. Yokohoma Rubber advanced 7.57% and Sumitomo Rubber Industries gained 8%.
Nippon Electric, the third largest producer of glass for flat panel televisions, gained more than 6% after doubling its operating profit forecast for the latest quarter, on increasing demand for its products. Among others in the sector , Asahi Glass advanced 2.6%.
Oil stocks advanced on higher crude oil prices. Impex gained 1.75%, Nippon Oil Corp advanced 3.07% and Showa Shell edged up 0.39%
Financials ended mixed. While Mitsubishi UFJ gained 1.16%, Mizuho Financial slipped 0.83% , and Resona Holdings fell 0.73%. However, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial remained unchanged from previous close.
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