The stock market in Japan ended in positive territory on Friday, taking cues from Wall Street, where the major indices rose for the third day in succession on hopes of stability in the global economy. Profit taking at higher levels at the later part of the day ahead of the weekend and US jobs data limited gains in the markets.
On Wall Street, pledge for about $1.1 trillion in loans and guarantees by the G20 leaders in London and a relaxation in the mark-to-market accounting rules for banks helped the markets advance, although the economic indicators are still implying weakness. The Dow closed up 216.48 points or 2.8% at 7,978, the Nasdaq closed up 51.03 points or 3.3% at 1,604 and the S&P 500 closed up 23.30 points or 2.9% at 834.
In Asian trading, crude oil ended down $0.73 at $51.91 a barrel in electronic trading. Light sweet crude for May delivery closed up $4.25 at $52.64 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thursday, after hitting an intra-day low of $48.45 and a high of $52.87 on improved demand prospects amid hopes the G-20 summit will help pull the world out of the economic crisis.
In Tokyo, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed at 8,750, up 30.06 points, or 0.34%, and the broader Topix index of all First Section Issues added 4.67 points to 831.
Automakers led the gains on the weaker local currency. Toyota Motor surged up 7.25%, Nissan Motor advanced 5.94% and Honda Motor added 1.65%.
Exporters also ended higher. Canon advanced 1.99%; Sharp added 0.72% and Sony Corp. gained 3.23%. Among trading houses, Mitsubishi Corp. advanced 4.61%, Sumitomo Corp. gained 1.88% and Itochu added 1.54%.
Financials ended weaker in late trading on profit taking. Mitsubishi UFJ declined 0.38%, Mizuho Financial lost 1.44%, Sumitomo Mitsui shed 2.92% and Resona Holdings declined 2.72%. However, Brokerage Nomura Holdings bucked the trend and advanced 4.80%.
Oil stocks ended mixed. While Inpex declined 1.25% and Showa Shell lost 2.14%, Nippon Oil edged up 0.20%.
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