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Japanese Market Advances

The Japanese stock market, which reopened after a holiday on Monday, is notably higher on Tuesday despite the mixed cues overnight from Wall Street and a slightly stronger yen.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 186.19 points or 0.79 percent to 23,900.72, off a high of 23,952.61 in early trades.

The major exporters are higher on a weaker yen. Mitsubishi Electric is rising almost 2 percent, while Sony and Canon are advancing more than 1 percent each. Panasonic is adding almost 1 percent and SoftBank is up more than 1 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is down 0.4 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is adding 0.2 percent each.

Among automakers, Toyota is edging up less than 0.1 percent and Honda is adding 0.5 percent. Toyota unveiled a concept car, the e-Palette, which showcases its vision for the autonomous electric vehicles, at the 2018 CES Consumer Electronics Show in the U.S. on Monday.

In the oil space, Inpex is down 0.6 percent, while Japan Petroleum Exploration is advancing 0.7 percent after crude oil prices rose overnight.

Among the market's best performers, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding is rising more than 10 percent, Tokai Carbon is gaining more than 4 percent and Sumco Corp. is higher by almost 4 percent.

On the flip side, Nippon Express is losing almost 2 percent, while Takara Holdings and Haseko Corp. are lower by more than 1 percent each.

In economic news, Japan will provide November figures for real and labor cash earnings as well as December results for its consumer confidence index today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the 113 yen-range on Tuesday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed on Monday in choppy trading as traders expressed some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following the recent run to record highs. A lack of major U.S. economic data also kept traders on the sidelines ahead of the release of key reports on retail sales and producer and consumer prices later this week.

The Dow edged down 12.87 points or 0.1 percent to 25,283.00, while the Nasdaq climbed 20.83 points or 0.3 percent to 7,157.39 and the S&P 500 rose 4.56 points or 0.2 percent to 2,747.71.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on Monday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index climbed by 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures advanced Monday after industry data showed a surprising decrease in the U.S. rig count. WTI crude for February delivery rose $0.29 to $61.73 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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