Japan Stocks Slightly Higher, ASX 200 Hits Record High on Month-End Buying

Japan Stocks Slightly Higher, ASX 200 Hits Record High on Month-End Buying

Key Points:

  • Japan stocks closed slightly higher, led by gains in the Paper & Pulp, Power, and Shipbuilding sectors.
  • Aozora Bank Ltd. and Seven & i Holdings Co. Ltd. were among the top performers on the Nikkei 225 index. 
  • Australia’s ASX 200 index reached a record high, driven by month-end buying and increased investor interest in heavyweight bank and mining stocks.
  • Commonwealth Bank Of Australia rose by 0.5%, while BHP Group Ltd. and Rio Tinto Ltd increased by 0.3% and 0.9%, respectively.

Japan stocks closed slightly higher on Thursday, with gains in the Paper & Pulp, Power, and Shipbuilding sectors leading the Nikkei 225 index to a modest increase. Meanwhile, Australia’s ASX 200 index surged to a record high, buoyed by month-end buying in heavyweight stocks after experiencing losses earlier in February.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 added 0.03% at the close, with notable performers, where Aozora Bank, Ltd. rose by 9.46%, and Seven & i Holdings Co., Ltd. increased by 6.19%. Conversely, Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc. fell by 4.66%, and Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. decreased by 4.32%, were among the session’s worst performers.

On the Tokyo Stock Exchange, falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones, with 2217 stocks declining, 1476 advancing, and 189 ending unchanged. Key highlights from the session include Seven & i Holdings Co., Ltd. and Rakuten Inc. reaching all-time highs and 52-week highs, respectively. The Nikkei Volatility, measuring the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, decreased by 5.78% to 19.22.

In commodities trading, crude oil prices saw slight gains, with April delivery up to $78.59 a barrel. Brent oil for May delivery rose to $82.19 a barrel, while April Gold Futures traded at $2,044.65 a troy ounce, a slight increase. In currency markets, USD/JPY fell by 0.58% to 149.80, and EUR/JPY declined by 0.62% to 162.31. The US Dollar Index Futures decreased by 0.09% to 103.81.

Meanwhile, Australia’s ASX 200 index surged by 0.6% to reach a record high of 7,703.80 points, recouping losses from earlier in February and marking its fourth consecutive month of gains. Month-end buying activity, particularly in heavyweight banks and mining stocks, supported the index.

Key contributors to the ASX 200’s gains included Commonwealth Bank Of Australia (ASX:CBA), which rose by 0.5%, while BHP Group Ltd (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX:RIO) increased by 0.3% and 0.9%, respectively, which rose despite challenges such as weaker profits and commodity price declines throughout February.

Positive economic data showing a larger-than-expected increase in private new capital expenditure in the fourth quarter also boosted investor sentiment, while other readings indicated lower-than-expected growth in consumer inflation and retail sales in January. These data points reinforced expectations that the Reserve Bank of Australia will maintain its current interest rates.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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