(RTTNews) – The Japanese stock market is notably higher on Monday, with the benchmark Nikkei index breaching the 30,000 mark for the first time in more than three decades, following the record closing highs on Wall Street Friday. Upbeat Japanese GDP data and news that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine received approval in Japan also boosted sentiment.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is gaining 290.10 points or 0.98 percent to 29,810.17, after touching a high of 30,006.46 earlier.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is adding 0.3 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is rising more than 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is advancing more than 1 percent, while Toyota is down 0.3 percent.
The major exporters are also mostly higher on a weaker yen. Panasonic is higher by almost 2 percent, Sony is advancing almost 1 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is adding 0.5 percent, while Canon is declining almost 1 percent.
In the tech space, Advantest is rising almost 1 percent and Tokyo Electron is up 0.5 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial are rising almost 2 percent each.
Among the other major gainers, Ebara Corp. is climbing more than 14 percent and Olympus Corp. is gaining more than 13 percent. Inpex, Hitachi Construction and Hino Motors are all higher by more than 4 percent each.
Conversely, Toho Zinc is losing more than 7 percent and Rakuten is lower by more than 6 percent. Subaru Corp., Mitsui E&S and Nissan Motor are all declining more than 3 percent each.
In economic news, the Cabinet Office said in a preliminary report that Japan’s gross domestic product expanded a seasonally adjusted 3.0 percent on quarter in the fourth quarter of 2020. That exceeded expectations for an increase of 2.3 percent following the 5.3 percent gain in the previous three months.
Japan also will see final December figures for industrial production today.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 105 yen-range on Monday.
On Wall Street, stocks turned in a lackluster performance for much of the trading day on Friday, but moved to the upside late in the session. Profit taking contributed to modest weakness early in session, although selling pressure remained subdued. Traders largely shrugged off a preliminary report from the University of Michigan showing an unexpected deterioration in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of February.
The Dow underperformed its counterparts but still closed modestly higher, inching up 27.70 points or 0.1 percent to 31,458.40. The Nasdaq climbed 69.70 points or 0.5 percent to 14,095.47 and the S&P 500 rose 18.45 points or 0.5 percent at 3,934.83.
The major European markets also closed higher on Friday. While the German DAX Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.6 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.9 percent.
Crude oil prices moved higher on Friday, rebounding from early losses, as tensions in the Middle East raised the possibility of disruptions in crude supplies. Crude for March delivery jumped $1.23 or about 2.1 percent to $59.47 a barrel, the highest closing level in over a year.