TOKYO (dpa-AFX) - The Japanese stock market opened on a buoyant note Monday, lifted by strong U.S. jobs data and an encouraging Japanese GDP report for the March quarter.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index hit a three-month high as it surged up to 15,206.6 in early trades. The index is currently trading at 15,155.7, up 78.5 points or 0.5 percent from its previous close.
Dentsu Inc. shares are rising nearly 4 percent after the company reported higher sales in May 2014, compared to the numbers in the same month last year.
Alps Electric Co. is adding nearly 4.5 percent. Mitsui Mining & Smelting, Panasonic Corp. (PC), JGC Corp., Ube Industries, Okuma Corp., Teijin, Casio Computer, Konami Corp., Hitachi Construction Machinery and Minebea Co. are all up 2 to 3 percent.
Sumitomo Osaka Cement, Toshiba Corp., Toyobo Co., NTN Corp, Taiheiyo Cement, Nikon Corp., Taiyo Yuden, Yokohama Rubber, Mazda Motor, Showa Denko KK and Komatsu are moving up 1.5 to 2 percent.
Among the losers, Sumco Corp. and Yamato Holdings are down more than 2 percent. Nippon Paper Industries and Amada Co. are declining 1.3 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively, while Suzuki Motor, Aozora Bank, Sumitomo Metal Mining, Kansai Electric Power, Asahi Group Holdings and Hitachi are down 0.5 to 1 percent.
On the economic front, the Cabinet Office said Japan's economy grew an annualized 6.7 percent in the January - March 2014 quarter, in inflation-adjusted terms. In the previous quarter, the economy saw a 1.6 percent growth. In the initial report released in mid May, the government had said that the economy grew an annualized 5.9 percent in the March 2014 quarter.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the mid-102 yen range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 102.56 to the U.S. dollar, against Friday's close of 102.26 yen per dollar.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan are trading modestly higher. South Korea and Taiwan are up slightly, while Shanghai and New Zealand are marginally down. The Australian market is closed for a holiday for the Queen's Birthday.
On Wall Street, stocks ended higher on Friday, with traders reacting positively to the monthly U.S. jobs report.
The major averages finished the session firmly in positive territory, with the Dow and the S&P 500 hitting new closing highs. The Dow rose 88.2 points or 0.5 percent to 16,924.3, the Nasdaq advanced 25.2 points or 0.6 percent to 4,321.4 and the S&P 500 climbed 9 points or 0.5 percent to 1,949.4.
Major European markets too closed with solid gains on Friday. While the German DAX index climbed 0.4 percent, the U.K.'sFTSE 100 index and the French CAC 40 index both advanced by 0.7 percent.
U.S. crude oil ended higher on Friday, after data from the Labor Department showed the U.S. economy to have added more jobs in May than what analysts expected. Crude for July delivery ended up $0.18 or 0.2 percent at $102.66 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.