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Japanese Market Extends Gains

The Japanese stock market is extending gains on Wednesday from the previous session following the positive lead overnight from Wall Street and on a weaker yen. Investors are now looking ahead to the outcome of the U.S. midterm elections.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is advancing 179.99 points or 0.81 percent to 22,327.74, after rising to a high of 22,380.87 in early trades. Japanese shares showed a strong move to the upside on Tuesday.

The major exporters are mostly higher as the yen weakened. Panasonic is rising more than 1 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is adding 0.2 percent and Sony is edging up 0.1 percent, while Canon is down 0.4 percent.

In the tech sector, Advantest is gaining almost 2 percent, while Tokyo Electron is down 0.5 percent.

Among auto makers, Toyota is rising almost 2 percent after recording a 28 percent in profit for the September quarter and raising its full-year outlook, while Honda is lower by almost 1 percent.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is higher by 0.5 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is advancing almost 1 percent.

In the oil space, Japan Petroleum is losing more than 1 percent and Inpex is down 0.2 percent after crude oil prices fell for a seventh straight session overnight.

Among the other major gainers, Nichirei, Yokogawa Electric and Dena Co. are gaining more than 8 percent each, while Nippon Telegraph & Telephone is rising almost 6 percent.

On the flip side, Takara Holdings is losing almost 9 percent, Mitsubishi Materials is lower by more than 8 percent and Daikin Industries is down almost 5 percent.

In economic news, Japan will see preliminary September results for its leading and coincident indexes as well as September results for real and labor cash earnings.

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

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Tuesday, continuing to recover from the sell-off seen in October. However, traders seemed reluctant to make more significant moves amid uncertainty about the outcome of today's highly anticipated midterm elections and as they looked ahead to the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement due on Thursday.

The Dow advanced 173.31 points or 0.7 percent to 25,635.01, the Nasdaq climbed 47.11 points or 0.6 percent to 7,375.96 and the S&P 500 rose 17.14 points or 0.6 percent to 2,755.45.

The major European markets moved to the downside on Tuesday. While the German DAX Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.5 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index slid by 0.9 percent.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Tuesday, extending their slide to a seventh successive session. WTI crude for December lost $0.89 or 1.4 percent to close at $62.21 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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