The Japanese stock market is rebounding on Thursday following the overnight rally on Wall Street after the results of the U.S. midterm elections came largely in line with expectations. Additionally, a weaker yen boosted shares of exporters.
Investors digested a raft of mixed local economic data, including core machine orders data for September that fell more than expectations.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is gaining 409.43 points or 1.85 percent to 22,495.23, after rising to a high of 22,583.43 earlier. Japanese shares ended a choppy session lower on Wednesday.
The major exporters are notably higher. Mitsubishi Electric is higher by more than 3 percent, Sony is gaining more than 2 percent, Panasonic is rising more than 1 percent and Canon is advancing almost 2 percent.
In the tech sector, Advantest is gaining more than 2 percent and Tokyo Electron is adding more than 1 percent.
Among auto makers, Toyota and Honda are rising more than 1 percent each. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is gaining more than 2 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is rising almost 3 percent.
In the oil space, Inpex is gaining almost 5 percent after it raised its planned full-year dividend, while Japan Petroleum is higher by more than 4 percent.
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone said it will invest 3 trillion yen over the next five years on advanced research activities and next generation 5G mobile communications networks. The company's shares are advancing more than 1 percent.
Among the other major gainers, Minebea Mitsumi is gaining almost 10 percent, Meiji Holdings is rising more than 9 percent and Denka Co. is higher by more than 7 percent.
On the flip side, Pioneer Corp. is losing 3 percent and Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings is lower by almost 2 percent.
In economic news, the Cabinet Office said that the value of core machine orders in Japan plunged 18.3 percent on month in September, coming in at 802.2 billion yen. That was well shy of expectations for a decline of 9.0 percent following the 6.8 percent increase in August.
The Ministry of Finance said that Japan had a current account surplus of 1,821.6 billion yen in September, down 19.3 percent on year. That exceeded expectations for a surplus of 1,786.5 billion yen and was down from 1,838.4 billion yen in August.
The trade balance showed a surplus of 323.3 billion yen - shy of expectations for 334.2 billion yen, following the 219.3 billion yen deficit in the previous month. Imports were up 8.0 percent on year to 6.347 trillion yen, while exports dipped an annual 0.9 percent to 6.671 trillion yen.
The Bank of Japan said that overall bank lending in Japan was up 2.2 percent on year in October, coming in at 529.471 trillion yen. That follows the 2.3 percent increase in September.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid 113 yen-range on Thursday.
On Wall Street, stocks rallied on Wednesday, adding to the gains posted in the previous session, as the results of the highly anticipated midterm elections on Tuesday came largely in line with expectations. Democrats retook control of the House for the first time since 2010, while Republicans tightened their hold on the Senate.
The Dow surged up 545.29 points or 2.1 percent to 26,180.30, the Nasdaq soared 194.79 points or 2.6 percent to 7,570.75 and the S&P 500 spiked 58.44 points or 2.1 percent to 2,813.89.
The major European also moved notably higher on Wednesday. While the German DAX Index advanced by 0.8 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index surged up by 1.1 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.
Crude oil prices tumbled after an early surge on Wednesday, as data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed a seventh straight weekly rise in U.S. crude inventories. WTI crude for December declined $0.54 or 0.9 percent to close at $61.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement price in nearly eight months.
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