Asian stock markets are trading mixed on Monday on a light day for the region with four major markets on holiday, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday. The markets are supported by energy and technology stocks in particular. Meanwhile, investors seem reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday for cues about global economic recovery. Asian markets also closed mixed on Friday.
The Australian stock market is closed on Monday in observance of the Queen’s Birthday. Australian stocks closed slightly higher on Friday.
In the currency market, the Aussie dollar is trading at $0.770 on Monday.
Japanese stock market is modestly higher on Monday, after the slight losses of the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 falling just above the 29,100 level, following the broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday.
Traders also are upbeat after the Japanese government lifted the COVID-19 state of emergency in Olympics city Tokyo and downgraded it to quasi-emergency state in three prefectures as infections steadily decline and the strain on hospitals eased.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has expressed his strong resolve to go ahead with the Tokyo Olympics next month despite concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed the morning session at 29,109.52, up 160.79 points or 0.56 percent, after touching a high of 29,208.35 in early deals. Japanese shares ended slightly lower on Friday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging up 0.2 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is gaining more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is edging up 0.2 percent, Toyota is adding 0.4 percent, Nissan Motor is gaining almost 2 percent and Mazda is up more than 2 percent.
The major exporters are mixed, with Canon edging down 0.1 percent and Mitsubishi Electric flat, while Sony and Panasonic are edging up 0.2 percent each.
In the tech space, Advantest is edging up 0.4 percent and Tokyo Electron is gaining almost 1 percent, while Screen Holdings is losing more than 1 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging down 0.4 percent, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Mizuho Financial are losing almost 1 percent each.
Among the other major gainers, Toyota Tsusho, M3, Fujikura, Seiko Epson and Mitsui Chemicals are all gaining almost 3 percent each, while Mitsui Chemicals, Fanuc, Yokohama Rubber, Japan Exchange Group, CyberAgent, Takashimaya, Tokai Carbon, Daiichi Sankyo, Sharp and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha are adding more than 2 percent each.
Conversely, JGC Holdings is losing almost 4 percent, while Bandai Namco Holdings, Itochu and Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma are down almost 3 percent each. Olympus, Shinsei Bank and Tokyu Fudosan Holdings are declining more than 2 percent each.
In economic news, Japan will see the release of final April figures for industrial production later in the day. In March, industrial production was up 1.7 percent on month and 3.4 percent on year, while capacity utilization rose 5.6 percent on month.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 109 yen-range on Monday.
Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea are higher by between 0.1 and 0.6 percent, while New Zealand and Singapore are lower by 0.3 and 0.1 percent, respectively. Markets in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong are closed for the Dragon Boat Festival.
On Wall Street, stocks showed a lack of direction for much of the trading day on Friday but managed to end the session mostly higher. The S&P 500 reached a new record closing high, while the Nasdaq rose to its best closing level in over a month.
The major averages moved to the upside going into close to finish the day in positive territory. The Dow crept up 13.36 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 34,479.60, the Nasdaq climbed 49.09 points or 0.4 percent to 14,069.42 and the S&P 500 edged up 8.26 points or 0.2 percent at 4,247.44.
The major European markets all also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index climbed by 0.7 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both advanced by 0.8 percent.
Crude oil prices moved higher Friday on rising expectations that global energy demand will pick up thanks to acceleration in vaccination rollouts. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July settled at $70.91 a barrel, gaining $0.62 or 0.9 percent. For the week, WTI Crude futures rose 1.9 percent, rising for a third straight week.
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