Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gains Expected At Tokyo Market Open Wednesday

Modest gains are expected for the opening of Japan's stock market on Wednesday. A weaker yen is expected to help the exporters, despite mixed results from Wall Street and weak commodities prices.

Japan's market closed mixed on Tuesday, with Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant issues weighing on the power sector.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 average rose 8.72 points or 0.09 percent to close at 9,567.02.

The TOPIX index of all shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange First Section declined 0.70 or 0.08 percent to 828.85.

Trading volume was 1.883 billion shares.

There were 613 stocks closing higher, 910 lower and 145 closed unchanged.

Shares of Tokyo Electric Poswer (TEPCO) which operates the crippled Fukushima facility, closed down 9.5 percent on revelations that damage to the reactor containment vessel was worse than first thought. Chubu Electric Power declined 5.5 percent, Kansai Electric was down 3.7 percent and Hukuriku Electric Power likewise closed down 5.5 percent.

The banking sector was weak, with Mitsubishi UFJ closing flat and Sumitomo Mitsui down 0.8 percent.

In the real estate sector, Mitsui Fudosan closed up 2.0 percent after getting a ratings upgrade from JP Morgan.

In U.S. trading on Tuesday, the market pared sharp early losses to close mixed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 68.95 points or 0.55 percent to close at 12,479.42, the Nasdaq Composite index was up 0.90 or 0.03 percent at 2,783.21 and the S&P 500 index was down 0.49 or 0.04 percent at 1,328.98.

The other major Asia/Pacific region markets closed mixed on Tuesday.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 59.55 points or 0.26 percent at 22,901.08.

In China, the Shanghai Composite index was up 3.71 points or 0.13 percent at 2,852.77.

The BSE 30/SENSEX index in India was down 207.68 points or 1.13 percent at 18,137.35.

Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index was down 32.79 points or 0.86 percent at 3,799.23 when it last traded on Monday.

In South Korea, the KOSPI/Seoul Composite index was down 1.77 or 0.08 percent at 2,102.41.

The Taiwan Weighted Index was down 27.62 points or 0.31 percent at 8,884.09.