The Japanese market slightly higher | Nasdaq
(RTTNews) – The Japanese stock market is slightly higher on Monday, extending the strong gains of the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 just below the 27,000 mark, following broadly positive signals from Wall Street on Friday, with stocks technology leading the charge.
Meanwhile, traders also remain concerned about soaring domestic coronavirus cases, with Japan topping 70,000 new daily cases for the fourth day in a row and hitting record highs in the nearly two weeks. A majority of the 47 prefectures are under near-state of emergency, with Tokyo expected to enter a virus state of emergency soon.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 is up 245.909 points or 0.92% at 26,963.24, after hitting a high of 26,967.44 and a low of 26,541.65 earlier. Japanese stocks ended sharply higher on Friday.
The SoftBank group, heavyweight in the market, gained nearly 4%, while the operator Uniqlo Fast Retailing lost nearly 1%. Among automakers, Honda lost nearly 1%, while Toyota rose 0.5%. In technology, Advantest is up nearly 4%, Tokyo Electron is up nearly 2%, and Screen Holdings is up 1.5%. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial lost more than 2%, while Mizuho Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial were down 1.5% each.
Major exporters are mixed, with Panasonic and Canon up 0.5%, while Sony gains over 3%. Mitsubishi Electric lost almost 2%.
Among other big gainers, Alps Alpine soared nearly 18% and Z Holdings 5.5%, while Olympus and Recruit Holdings gained 4.5%. Japan Steel Works and M£ each gained more than 4%, while TDK, Japan Exchange Group and Minebea Mitsumi gained almost 4% each. Conversely, Chubu Electric Power fell more than 9%, Omron lost nearly 8%, Tokyo Electric Power fell more than 6% and Seiko Epson lost more than 4%.
In economic news, the value of retail sales in Japan rose 1.4% year-on-year in December, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Monday, reaching 14.656 billion. yen. That missed expectations for a 2.7% increase and was down from 1.9% in November. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, retail sales fell 1.0% after increasing an upwardly revised 1.3% in November (originally 1.2%). For the fourth quarter of 2021, retail sales increased 1.4% year-on-year and 2.0% quarter-on-quarter; for the whole of 2021, retail sales increased by 1.9%.
Industrial production in Japan also rose 2.7% year on year in December, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Monday. That was less than expectations for a 3% increase and down from 5.1% in November. On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, industrial production fell 1.0%, again missing expectations of a 0.8% drop after the previous month’s 7.0% peak.
In the currency market, the US dollar is trading in the lower range of 115 yen on Monday.
On Wall Street, stocks showed a significant turnaround during Friday’s trading session, continuing the rollercoaster ride seen throughout the week. Major averages came under pressure to start the day but rebounded strongly to end the day sharply higher.
The major averages all posted solid gains for the day, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading the rally. While the Nasdaq jumped 417.79 points or 3.1% to 13,770.57, the S&P 500 jumped 105.34 points or 2.4% to 4,431.85 and the Dow jumped 564, 69 points or 1.7% at 34,725.47.
Meanwhile, major European markets all traded lower on the day. While France’s CAC 40 index fell 0.8%, Britain’s FTSE 100 index and Germany’s DAX index fell 1.2% and 1.3%, respectively.
Crude oil prices stabilized slightly higher on Friday as prices climbed amid tight supply fears. Growing geopolitical concerns and limited production increases from major crude producers amid surging fuel demand have contributed to higher oil prices. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for March ended up $0.21, or about 0.2%, at $88.82 a barrel. WTI futures, which hit their highest level in more than seven years, gained around 2% during the week.
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