Japanese Market Extends Winning Streak

(RTTNews) - The Japanese stock market is extending its winning streak to Thursday and the safe-haven yen weakened following the positive cues overnight from Wall Street after the U.S. and China granted tariff exemptions to each other ahead of the next round of trade talks. Optimism about new stimulus ahead of the European Central Bank's monetary policy decision later today also boosted sentiment.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 214.34 points or 0.99 percent to 21,812.10, after rising to a high of 21,819.96 earlier. Japanese shares closed higher for the seventh straight session on Wednesday.

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

In the tech space, Advantest is rising 4 percent and Tokyo Electron is higher by almost 3 percent. In the auto sector, Honda Motor is adding almost 1 percent, while Toyota Motor is down 0.3 percent.

Shares of Yahoo Japan are gaining more than 4 percent after the company said it plans to acquire a 50.1 percent stake in online fashion retailer Zozo Inc. for about 400 billion yen, or $3.7 billion. Zozo's shares are higher by more than 15 percent.

Market heavyweight SoftBank is rising almost 1 percent and Fast Retailing is adding 0.2 percent.

Among oil stocks, Japan Petroleum is adding 0.3 percent and Inpex is higher by more than 1 percent even as crude oil prices fell overnight.

Among the other major gainers, Dai Nippon Printing is gaining more than 8 percent, Screen Holdings is rising more than 5 percent and Yahoo Japan is higher by more than 4 percent.

On the flip side, Rakuten is declining more than 2 percent.

On the economic front, the Cabinet Office said that core machine orders in Japan were down a seasonally adjusted 6.6 percent on month in July, coming in at 896.9 billion yen. That beat expectations for a fall of 8.1 percent following the 13.9 percent surge in June.

The Bank of Japan said that producer prices in Japan were down 0.3 percent on month in August, shy of expectations for a drop of 0.2 percent following the flat reading in July.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the 108 yen-range on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Wednesday following news that China is granting tariff exemptions for 16 types of American-made products as a sign of goodwill ahead of the next round of trade talks. Stocks also benefited from optimism about new global stimulus ahead of the European Central Bank's monetary policy decision on Thursday as well as next week's Federal Reserve meeting.

The Dow advanced 227.61 points or 0.9 percent to 27,137.04, the Nasdaq jumped 85.52 points or 1.1 percent to 8,169.68 and the S&P 500 climbed 21.54 points or 0.7 percent to 3,000.93.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on Wednesday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index shot up by 1 percent, German DAX Index climbed by 0.7 percent and the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.4 percent.

Crude oil prices declined sharply on Wednesday as a downward revision in OPEC's oil demand forecast and speculation that the U.S. may ease sanctions on Iran outweighed data showing a larger than expected drop in U.S. crude stockpiles last week. WTI crude for October ended down $1.65 or about 2.9 percent at $55.75 a barrel, the lowest settlement since September 3.

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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