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Japanese Market Advances

The Japanese stock market is advancing on Thursday, recovering from sharp losses in the previous session, as a weaker yen boosted exporters' shares.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is rising 282.20 points or 1.27 percent to 22,459.24, off a high of 22,474.80 earlier.

The major exporters are advancing. Panasonic is adding 0.4 percent, Sony is advancing almost 0.5 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is rising 0.6 percent and Canon is higher by 1 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is down 0.2 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is adding 0.6 percent. Among automakers, Toyota and Honda are higher by 1 percent each.

In the oil space, Inpex and Japan Petroleum are declining almost 1 percent each after crude oil prices fell nearly 3 percent overnight.

Among the market's best performers, Yamato Holdings is rising almost 4 percent, while Asahi Kasei, Suzuki Motor and Yamaha Corp are higher by more than 3 percent each.
On the flip side, Chiyoda Corp. is losing more than 5 percent and NTN Corp. is down almost 2 percent.

In economic news, Japan will see preliminary October figures for its leading and coincident indexes today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 112 yen-range on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed on Wednesday as traders expressed uncertainty about the economic impact of the Republican tax reform plan. Concerns about the possibility of violence in the Middle East also weighed on the markets as President Donald Trump announced he is officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

While the Nasdaq rose 14.16 points or 0.2 percent to 6,776.38, the Dow dipped 39.73 points or 0.2 percent to 24,140.91 and the S&P 500 edged down 0.30 point or less than a tenth of a percent to 2,629.27.

The major European markets also turned in a mixed performance on Wednesday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index closed just below the unchanged line and the German DAX Index fell by 0.4 percent.

Crude oil futures plunged Wednesday, extending recent losses after official data confirmed a huge build in U.S. gasoline supplies. WTI crude for January fell $1.66 or 2.9 percent to $55.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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