RTTNews - The stock market in Japan ended the first day of third quarter of calendar year 2009 on a weak note, as traders preferred to take profits ahead of key economic data in the U.S. The euphoria following release of Tankan Survey, which lifted the index above the 10,000-mark, could not be sustained following news about share sale by Orix and All Nippon Airways.

In the U.S., stocks ended sharply lower in negative territory, dragged down by lower-than-expected consumer confidence numbers.

The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index, a closely watched measure of home prices, showed a 0.6% decline from March to April, according to a survey of prices in 20 U.S. cities. Home prices were down 18.1% compared to the same period last year.

A report from the Conference Board said its consumer confidence index fell to 49.3 in June from a revised 54.8 in May. Economists expected the index to edge up to 55.3 from the 54.9 originally reported for the previous month. Separately, the Institute for Supply Management - Chicago said its index of activity in the manufacturing sector jumped to 39.9 in June from 34.9 in May

The Dow closed down by 82.38 points or 1% at 8,447, the Nasdaq dipped by 9.02 points or 0.5% to 1,835, and the S&P 500 fell 7.91 points or 0.9% to 919.

The Nikkei 225 Average opened lower at 9,889 compared to its previous close of 9,9958, on weak cues from Wall Street, but climbed above the unchanged line following the release of Tankan Survey, which, however, did not have any surprise element. The market continued to trade northward and passed the psychological 10,000-mark in late day trading. However, news about sale of shares by many companies including All Nippon Airways and Orix, as well as caution ahead of key economic data in the U.S led to profit taking by traders, and the index, having given away all the gains during the session, ended at 9,340, representing a loss of 18.51 points, or 0.19%. The broader Topix Index of all first section issues fell 1.46 points, or 0.16% to 928.

Light sweet crude for August delivery ended at $70.23, up 34 cents in the Asian session after ending Tuesday's volatile session in New York at $69.89, representing a loss of $1.60 a barrel amid increasing concerns about the recovery.

On the economic front, the Bank of Japan, in its Quarterly Tankan Survey, revealed that confidence in Japan's large manufacturers improved in the second quarter for the first time since Dec 2006. However, the gains were not as much as expected. The diffusion index for big manufacturers posted a score of -48, which was up from the record low -58 in the previous quarter but shy of forecasts for -43. The outlook for the third quarter shows -30 versus expectations for -34 following -51 in the previous three months. The big non-manufacturers index came in at -29, while small manufacturers were -57 and small non-manufacturers were at -44.

All Nippon Airways led the market lower with a loss of 5.9% following reports in the press that the airliner is planning to sell shares. Orix, the largest non-banking financial company in the country, which is also believed to be planning a share sale, sank 4.9%.

Softer commodity prices in the international market dragged the trading and oil stocks lower. Inpex Corp., the nation's biggest oil explorer, lost 2.7%. Nippon Oil fell 1.75% and Showa Shell edged down 0.68%.

Among trading houses, Mitsui & Co., fell 1.5%, Itochu Corp shed 1.34% and Sumitomo Corp declined 1.73%.

Property stocks ended in positive territory after JPMorgan raised its industry outlook from Neutral to Bullish. NTT Urban climbed 5.5% and Sumitomo Realty advanced 1.9%

Mixed trend was witnessed among the financial stocks. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group added 0.67%, Resona Holdings gained 0.96% and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial rose 2.80%. However, Mizuho Financial lost 1.67%.

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