TOKYO (dpa-AFX) - Japanese stock market is modestly lower in choppy trading on Monday, with the Nikkei 225 below the 29,700 level, despite broadly positive cues from Wall Street on Friday as continuing worries about rising coronavirus cases and the possible restrictions on economic activity weighed on the market.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 87.55 points or 0.29 percent to 29,680.51, after touching a high of 29,876.04 earlier. Japanese shares ended modestly higher on Friday.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is up more than 1 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining 0.5 percent and Toyota is adding almost 1 percent.
The major exporters are mixed. Panasonic is edging up 0.4 percent and Canon is adding nearly 2 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric is edging down 0.1 percent and Sony is losing almost 1 percent.
In the tech space, Advantest is losing almost 1 percent and Tokyo Electron is edging down 0.2 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging up 0.2 percent, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is edging down 0.3 percent and Mizuho Financial is losing almost 1 percent.
Among the other major gainers, JTEKT, Kubota and Nippon Sheet Glass are gaining more than 2 percent, while Yamaha Motor, JEE Holdings, Mitsubishi Motors and AGC are all are adding almost 2 percent each.
Conversely, Yaslawa Electric is losing more than 5 percent, Aeon is down more than 4 percent and Mitsui OSK Lines is declining more than 3 percent. Nippon Yusen, Alps Alpine and Kawasaki Kisen are losing almost 3 percent each, while Omron is down more than 2 percent.
In economic news, then overall bank lending in Japan was up 6.3 percent on year in March, the Bank of Japan said on Monday - coming in at 579.994 trillion yen. That's up from 6.2 percent in February. In the first quarter of 2021, overall lending was up 6.2 percent on year.
Further, producer prices in Japan were up 1.0 percent on year in March, the Bank of Japan said on Monday - exceeding expectations for 0.5 percent, following the upwardly revised 0.6 percent contraction in February (originally -0.7 percent). On a monthly basis, producer prices jumped 0.8 percent - again exceeding expectations for 0.4 percent and up from 0.6 percent in the previous month.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 109 yen-range on Monday.
On Wall Street, stocks moved mostly higher over the course of the trading session on Friday after initially showing a lack of direction. With the upward move, the Dow and the S&P 500 reached new record closing highs, while the Nasdaq ended the day at its best closing level in almost two months.
The major averages accelerated to the upside going into the close, ending the session near their best levels of the day. The Dow jumped 297.03 points or 0.9 percent to 33,800.60, the Nasdaq rose 70.88 points or 0.5 percent to 13,900.19 and the S&P 500 climbed 31.63 points or 0.8 percent to 4,128.80.
Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index inched up by 0.1 percent and the German DAX Index rose by 0.2 percent.
Crude oil prices drifted lower Friday as worries about the outlook for energy demand amid a continued surge in coronavirus cases weighed on the commodity. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended lower by $0.28 or 0.5 percent at $59.32 a barrel.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
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