Japan’s Nikkei 225 index has been on a winning streak for four consecutive days. The index nudged slightly higher on Wednesday ahead of its Producer Price Index (PPI) data for July. Australia’s ASX 200 index advanced 26 points amid surging Delta variant infections. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was almost flat while mainland Chinese stocks, Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Component, advanced slightly.
Japan’s Economic Sentiment
According to official data released on Tuesday, business sentiment among workers inched higher for the second month in July. Economic confidence edged 0.8 points higher to 48.4 in July. According to the Cabinet Office, a reading below 50 indicates the more worsened conditions compared to improved ones.
The resurgence of coronavirus infections tied to the highly infectious Delta variant led Tokyo to the fourth virus emergency. Tokyo has been under strict lockdown restrictions due to the robust spread of the virus. During the emergency, people were advised to stay home, and bars and restaurants were not allowed to serve alcohol.
According to government data, Japan’s current account surplus grew 50.3% in the first half of 2021 to ¥10.5 trillion. It surpassed the pre-pandemic level of ¥10.3 trillion in the first half of 2019. The growth was boosted by significant improvements in exports after declining due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The goods trade balance marked a ¥2.3 trillion surplus after a ¥973.5 billion deficit in 2020. Exports of auto parts, cars, and other items rebounded in the first half boosting the economic recovery.
Exports jumped 22.2% to ¥39.2 trillion in the first half of this year. They were boosted by the growth in semiconductor-producing equipment shipments amid the global chip shortage. Imports climbed 11.6% to ¥36.9 trillion in the same period. The growth was boosted by the increased commodity prices.
Nikkei 225 Performers
The best performer in the Nikkei 225 index was Toho Zinc. Toho Zinc is a Japanese manufacturer of Zinc related products. The company smelts nonferrous metals such as lead and zinc. The company’s stock price jumped 14.40% amid higher commodity prices.
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha gained more than 8.20%. The Japanese transportation company will be the first to be fitted with the CO2 capture plant.
Tokai Carbon inched 7.05% higher ahead of its second-quarter earnings. Wall Street analysts expect the carbon company to report earnings of ¥9.23 per share for the most recent quarter. They also expect the company’s revenue to advance to ¥53.78 billion from the previous quarter.
SUMCO Corporation led the laggards in the Nikkei 225 index. The Japanese semiconductor company slipped 5.78% amid the global chip shortage.
Advantest Corp lost 3.70% in its stock earnings. The company recently reported a climb in its Q1 earnings. The company announced that its first-quarter net income rose 83.4% to ¥10.55 billion compared to the previous year.