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Japanese Market Notably Higher

(RTTNews) - The Japanese stock market is extending its winning streak to Friday and the safe-haven yen weakened following the positive cues overnight from Wall Street amid positive developments on the U.S.-China trade front and on the European Central Bank's decision to resume its quantitative easing.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is gaining 216.59 points or 1.00 percent to 21,976.20 after rising to a high of 21,983.72 earlier. Japanese shares gai

The major exporters are mostly higher on a weaker yen. Mitsubishi Electric is advancing 0.7 percent, Sony is adding 0.6 percent and Panasonic is rising 0.2 percent, while Canon is down 0.3 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is rising almost 2 percent and Tokyo Electron is up 0.2 percent. In the auto sector, Toyota Motor is higher by 0.3 percent, while Honda Motor is edging down 0.1 percent.

Market heavyweight SoftBank is rising more than 2 percent and Fast Retailing is adding almost 2 percent.

Among oil stocks, Japan Petroleum is lower by more than 1 percent and Inpex is declining 0.2 percent after crude oil prices fell for a third straight session overnight.

Yahoo Japan is gaining almost 5 percent after the subsidiary of SoftBank offered to acquire a 50.1 percent stake in Japan's largest online fashion retailer Zozo for 400 billion yen, or $3.70 billion.

Among the other major gainers, FamilyMart UNY is rising more than 3 percent and Bandai Namco Holdings is higher by almost 3 percent.

On the flip side, NSK is declining more than 2 percent.

On the economic front, Japan will see final July numbers for industrial production today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 108 yen-range on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading day on Thursday, but managed to close modestly higher. A report from Bloomberg News said Trump administration officials have discussed offering an interim trade agreement to China. However, stocks gave back ground after a senior White House official told CNBC the U.S. is "absolutely not" considering an interim trade deal. Positive sentiment was also generated in reaction to the European Central Bank's monetary policy decision, with the ECB cutting rates and announcing a massive new bond-buying program.

The Dow edged up 45.41 points or 0.1 percent to 27,182.45, the Nasdaq climbed 24.79 points or 0.3 percent to 8,194.47 and the S&P 500 rose 8.64 points or 0.3 percent to 3,009.57.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on Thursday following the ECB announcement. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both rose 0.4 percent.

Crude oil futures ended lower on Thursday, extending losses to a third straight session, weighed down by a downward revision in OPEC's oil demand forecast and speculation that the U.S. may ease sanctions on Iran. WTI crude for October ended down $0.66 or about 1.2 percent at $55.09 a barrel.
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