Japan’s stock markets traded higher on April 12, as the yen continues to weaken.
At the end of the day, Nikkei 225 index was up 177.66 points, or 1.1%, at 15,928.79.
The Japanese yen dipped to 108.35 against the US dollar in Asian trade from 107.94 during US trade overnight.
Toyota shares closed higher by nearly 4% after several days of losses, with rival Nissan seeing a 3.2% jump in its shares.
A cheaper yen makes Japanese goods cheaper and more competitive, and is generally seen as a boost for export-related companies.
Shares of brokerage firm Nomura surged 7.4% on reports it plans to cut up to 1,000 jobs in US and Europe. Investors had been worried about Nomura’s non-performing businesses overseas.
In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi closed up 0.6% at 1,981.32.
In Australia, the S&P ASX 200 index also rose, ending the day up 0.9% at 4,975.60.
Hong Kong markets were also higher. By midday, the benchmark Hang Seng was 0.2% higher at 20,482.30.
However, Chinese markets were lower for most of the session and by midday the Shanghai composite index was down 0.7% at 3,014.20. Investors were selling off shares across the board, including telecommunications and property shares.
US stocks closed lower on April 11 after a late sell-off erased gains made earlier in the day. Investors were preparing themselves for a slew of company results this week.
Later this week, investors will be looking out for earnings from America’s biggest banks.
Japan’s shares plunged on February 12, following global markets, after a stronger yen against the dollar hurt the country’s big exporters.
Nikkei 225 fell as much as 5.4% in early trade. By the close, the benchmark index had recovered slightly, but was still down 4.85% to 14,952.61 points.
That was below the psychologically important level of 15,000 points and its lowest close since October 2014.
Today’s losses end what has been a turbulent week of trade for Japan.
The index has shed more than 11% over the trading week, which was short because of a public holiday on February 11.
Japan’s big exporters were hurt on February 12 as the dollar fell to a 15-month low against the yen. A stronger yen against the dollar hurts Japan’s exporters, as it makes their products more expensive to purchase overseas.
Auto maker Toyota finished Japan’s trading day down 7%, while Honda lost 5.5% and Nissan shed 5.8%.
Overnight, benchmark indexes in London, the US and Europe posted sharp declines amid continued worries about oil prices and over the strength of the global economy – particularly the outlook for the world’s largest economy, the US.
US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen’s gloomy economic assessment on February 10 was continuing to hurt investor sentiment around the world, analysts said.
Janet Yellen said financial conditions in the US had become “less supportive” of growth, dousing hopes of a second rise in interest rates in the near future.
Japan’s stock market traded sharply higher on February 1 as investors continued to cheer January 29 surprise move by the central bank to cut its rates.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 closed up 1.98% to 17,865.23 – its highest close since early January.
The benchmark closed up almost 3% on January 29 after the BoJ cut its rates to -0.1%.
The move is designed to spur inflation, investment and spending. Analysts said it was a turning point for the bank.
Elsewhere, manufacturing activity in China, the world’s second biggest economy, shrank more than expected in January from a month earlier, which dented confidence among investors.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed 0.5% lower at 19,595 in afternoon trade, while the Shanghai Composite was down 1.8% at 2,688.
China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 49.4 for the month compared to December’s reading of 49.7. The data marks the sixth month of contraction in the sector.
Expectations were for a reading of 49.6 for the month. A reading of above 50 indicates activity has grown, while a reading of below 50 indicates activity has contracted.
In South Korea, the Kospi index closed up 0.67% to 1,924.82, reversing earlier losses.
Disappointing trade numbers released on February 1 showed exports contracted 18.5% in January from a year earlier. It marks the 13th month in a row the nation’s exports have shrunk and is the worst result for exports since mid 2009.
Imports also contracted for the period by 20.1%.
In Australia, the ASX 200 finished the day up 0.76% at 5,043.60 following gains in the US.
Japan’s shares lost this year’s gains after Nikkei index fell below 17,450.77 points on September 8.
Japan’s benchmark index finished the day down 2.43% at 17,427.08 points.
Analysts said investors were concerned about China’s economy following latest trade numbers released on September 8.
Investors also reacted to Japan’s revised growth numbers released earlier which analysts said had not eased concerns about the state of the country’s economy.
Japan’s economy contracted 0.3% during the quarter, compared with original calculations of a 0.4% contraction.
The revision beat market expectations, which were for a contraction of 0.5%, but did little to calm investors.
The world’s third largest economy also revealed a revised fall in private consumption on September 8 to 0.7% from a previous estimate of 0.8%.
Japan relies on domestic consumption for about 60% of its economy. However, it has been adjusting to the impact of a sales tax rise which has dampened spending.
Chinese shares rallied to close higher after a surge in late afternoon buying by bargain hunters helped reverse earlier losses.
The Shanghai Composite finished up 2.9% at 3,170.45, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 3.3% at 21,259.04.
Investors ignored trade data that showed China’s imports in August fell 14.3% in yuan-denominated terms from a year ago, while exports fell by 6.1%.
The steep fall in the value of imports, which was greater than expected, reflected lower commodity prices globally, particularly crude oil.
In Australia the S&P/ASX 200 closed up 1.69% at 5,115.2 points.
Energy stocks were boosted as investors reacted to news that Australian energy giant Woodside Petroleum had made an estimated $11.65 billion Australian dollars ($8.1 billion) bid for Oil Search as it looks towards Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) market.
Australian-listed shares in Oil Search, which is an oil and gas exploration firm with most of its assets in PNG, rose as much as 17% on the news, though Woodside’s slid more than 3%.
South Korea’s Kospi benchmark index closed down 0.24% at 1,878.68 points.
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