(RTTNews) - The Japanese stock market recovered after a weak start and is modestly higher on Thursday amid optimism that U.S. lawmakers will eventually reach an agreement on a new coronavirus relief bill. Investors also digested mixed earnings results of Japanese companies.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 21.65 points or 0.10 percent to 22,536.50, after falling to a low of 22,424.46 in early trades. Japanese shares closed lower on Wednesday after two days of gains.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is advancing almost 1 percent and Fast Retailing is adding 0.1 percent.
The major exporters are mostly higher despite a stronger yen. Panasonic is advancing almost 1 percent, Mitsubishi Electric adding 0.4 percent and Canon is up 0.2 percent. Sony is down 0.7 percent.
In the tech space, Tokyo Electron and Advantest are declining more than 1 percent. In the financial sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is adding 0.5 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is higher by 0.4 percent.
Among automakers, Honda Motor is losing 4 percent after the company reported a loss for the first quarter and warned of a sharply lower profit for the full year. Toyota is adding 0.4 percent ahead of the release of its quarterly financial results later today.
In the oil sector, Inpex is higher almost 4 percent and Japan Petroleum is rising almost 2 percent after crude oil prices advanced overnight.
Among the other major gainers, Dena Co. is gaining more than 22 percent and Olympus Corp. is higher by almost 6 percent. Isuzu Motors and Nippon Electric Glass are higher by more than 5 percent each.
Conversely, Mitsui E&S is losing almost 5 percent and Dai Nippon Printing is lower by almost 4 percent.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid 105 yen-range on Thursday.
On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Wednesday, with the Dow showing a particularly strong upward move after entertainment giant Disney reported an unexpected adjusted fiscal third-quarter profit despite weaker than expected revenues. The continued strength in the broader markets reflected optimism that lawmakers will eventually reach an agreement on a new coronavirus relief bill. Democratic leaders said they continue to make progress toward an agreement after meeting with Trump administration officials on Tuesday.
The Dow reached a new high for the session in the final minutes of trading before closing up 373.05 points or 1.4 percent at 27,201.52. The Nasdaq climbed 57.23 points or 0.5 percent to 10,998.40 and the S&P 500 advanced 21.26 points or 0.6 percent to a five-month closing high of 3,327.77.
The major European markets also moved to the upside on Wednesday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index jumped by 1.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.9 percent and the German DAX Index rose by 0.5 percent.
Crude oil prices moved higher on Wednesday, lifted by data showing a sharp drop in U.S. crude inventories in the week ended July 31. WTI crude for September delivery climbed $0.49 or about 1.2 percent to $42.19 a barrel.
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