Japanese Market Little Changed After Positive Start

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(RTTNews) – The Japanese stock market is little changed on Monday, after rising in early trades following the positive cues from Wall Street Friday amid optimism about coronavirus vaccines and a strong holiday shopping season.

Investors turned cautious as they digested a raft of Japanese economic data and the continued surge in coronavirus cases in Japan.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 23.09 points or 0.09 percent to 26,667.80, after touching a high of 26,834.20 in early trades. The Japanese market rose for the fourth straight session on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is rising almost 2 percent and Fast Retailing is adding 0.6 percent. In the tech space, Tokyo Electron and Advantest are advancing more than 1 percent each.

The major exporters are mostly lower on a stronger yen. Canon is losing more than 2 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is lower by 1 percent and Sony is down 0.3 percent, while Panasonic is adding 0.4 percent.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is down almost 2 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is declining more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Toyota is losing more than 1 percent and Honda is lower by almost 1 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Sumco Corp. is gaining almost 8 percent, while Z Holdings and M3 are rising almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Tokai Carbon and Tobu Railway are losing more than 4 percent each. Shinsei Bank, West Japan Railway, Tokyu Corp., Takashimaya Co. and Toyo Seikan Group are all lower by more than 3 percent each.

On the economic front, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said that industrial output in Japan climbed a seasonally adjusted 3.8 percent on month in October. That was roughly in line with expectations and down from the 3.9 percent gain in September.

The value of retail sales in Japan was up a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent on month in October, coming in at 12.430 trillion yen. That beat expectations for a 0.1 percent increase following the 0.1 percent decline in September.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 103 yen-range on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher in an abbreviated session on Friday amid optimism about a potential coronavirus vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, although some questions have been raised about the efficacy of the vaccine. AstraZeneca Pascal Soriot told Bloomberg the British pharmaceutical giant is likely to run a new global trial of the vaccine candidate. Nonetheless, overall trading activity was subdued in the shortened trading session, as many traders remained away from their desks following the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

The Nasdaq jumped 111.44 points or 0.9 percent to 12,205.85, while the Dow edged up 37.90 points or 0.1 percent to 29,910.37 and the S&P 500 rose 8.70 points or 0.2 percent to 3,638.35.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on Friday. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index climbed by 0.4 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures settled lower on Friday, but still managed to post a strong weekly gain. WTI crude for January ended down $0.18 or about 0.4 percent at $45.53 a barrel.

Bastion Balance Seoul, Korea.