Japanese Market Advances

(RTTNews) - The Japanese stock market is advancing on Monday despite the mixed cues from Wall Street Friday, as data showed that Japan posted a merchandise trade surplus in September that increased from the previous month.

Optimism about a U.S. stimulus package before the presidential elections in November and a coronavirus vaccine before the end of this year also lifted stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is rising 270.17 points or 1.15 percent to 23,680.80, after touching a high of 23,686.47 earlier. Japanese stocks closed lower on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging up 0.1 percent, while Fast Retailing is down 0.5 percent.

The major exporters are mostly higher on a slightly weaker yen. Sony is rising more than 2 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is advancing more than 1 percent and Panasonic is adding almost 1 percent, while Canon is down 0.4 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is rising more than 1 percent and Tokyo Electron is adding 0.6 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are higher by 0.7 percent each. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota are adding more than 1 percent each.

Among the other major gainers, Toray Industries is rising more than 5 percent and J Front Retailing is gaining almost 5 percent. Denka Co. and IHI Corp are advancing more than 4 percent each, while Kawasaki Heavy Industries is up almost 4 percent.

Conversely, Konami Holdings is losing almost 2 percent.

In economic news, the Ministry of Finance said Japan posted a merchandise trade surplus of 674.978 billion yen in September. That was shy of expectations for a surplus of 989.8 billion yen, but still up from the 248.3 billion yen surplus in August.

Exports were down 4.9 percent on year to 6.055 trillion yen - missing forecasts for a fall of 2.4 percent, following the 14.8 percent slide in the previous month. Imports sank an annual 17.2 percent to 5.380 trillion yen, versus expectations for a decline of 21.4 percent following the 20.8 percent drop a month earlier.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 105 yen-range on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed on Friday after moving sharply higher early in the session. The late-day pullback may have reflected lingering uncertainty about a new stimulus bill, with the slump also being attributed to the expiration of equity options. The rally seen in early trading came as much better than expected retail sales data partly offset recent concerns the economic recovery may be stalling.

While the Nasdaq fell 42.32 points or 0.4 percent to 11,671.56, the Dow rose 112.11 points or 0.4 percent to 28,606.31 and the S&P 500 inched up 0.47 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 3,483.81.

The major European markets showed strong moves to the upside on Friday. While the French CAC 40 Index surged up by 2 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index jumped by 1.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices rebounded from the session's lows, but still ended marginally lower on Friday as worries about the demand outlook amid the continued surge in coronavirus cases weighed on the commodity. WTI crude for November delivery edged down $0.08 or about 0.2 percent to $40.88 a barrel.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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