Japanese Market Modestly Higher

(RTTNews) - The Japanese stock market is modestly higher on Thursday, extending gains from the previous session following the positive cues overnight from Wall Street amid continued optimism about an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve. Nevertheless, news that the U.S. and Mexico failed to reach a deal on immigration issues during their talks on Wednesday dampened sentiment.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 25.38 points or 0.12 percent to 20,801.48, after touching a high of 20,840.82 in early trades. Japanese shares posted strong gains on Wednesday amid a broad-based rally.

The major exporters are mostly lower. Mitsubishi Electric and Panasonic are lower by almost 1 percent each, while Sony is declining 0.6 percent. Canon is edging up 0.1 percent.

In the auto space, Toyota Motor is rising 0.6 percent, while Honda Motor is declining 1 percent.

Nissan Motor's shares are losing more than 1 percent after automaker Fiat Chrysler said it is withdrawing its proposal to merge with French car maker Renault. The French government reportedly said it would not support the merger unless Nissan guaranteed it would continue to collaborate with Renault.

Among tech stocks, Tokyo Electron is lower by more than 1 percent and Advantest is down 0.3 percent.

Among the major banks, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is declining 0.3 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is lower by 0.4 percent. In the oil sector, Inpex is declining 0.7 percent and Japan Petroleum is losing more than 2 percent after crude oil prices tumbled overnight.

Among the major gainers, Rakuten is rising more than 6 percent, while Fast Retailing and SoftBank Group are gaining almost 3 percent each.

On the flip side, JGC Corp. is losing almost 6 percent, while Mitsubishi Motors, Hino Motors, Chiyoda Corp. and Fujikura are all lower by more than 3 percent each.

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

On Wall Street, stocks extended gains on Wednesday from the previous session on optimism about a potential interest rate cut. A report from payroll processor ADP showing much weaker than expected private sector job growth in May initially generated some negative sentiment but was subsequently seen as adding to the case for a rate cut.

The Dow jumped 207.39 points or 0.8 percent to 25,539.57, the Nasdaq climbed 48.36 points or 0.6 percent to 7,575.48 and the S&P 500 advanced 22.88 points or 0.8 percent to 2,826.15.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on Wednesday. While the French CAC 40 Index climbed by 0.5 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index both inched up by 0.1 percent.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Wednesday after data showed a big increase in U.S. crude stockpiles in the week ended May 31. WTI crude for July delivery tumbled $1.80 or 3.4 percent to $51.68 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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