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Japanese Market Advances

The Japanese stock market is advancing on Wednesday following the overnight rally on Wall Street amid optimism about U.S.-China trade talks. Tech and oil stocks are among the major gainers.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is advancing 275.15 points or 1.32 percent to 21,139.36, after touching a high of 20,173.81 earlier. The Japanese market closed notably higher on Tuesday.

The major exporters are mostly higher. Mitsubishi Electric and Sony are rising almost 2 percent each, while Canon is adding 0.7 percent. Panasonic is down 0.2 percent.

In the tech sector, Advantest is gaining more than 4 percent and Tokyo Electron is higher by more than 2 percent.

Shares of Japan Display are unchanged after the Kyodo news agency reported that the ailing Apple supplier plans to receive a bailout of up to 80 billion yen from a group of Chinese and Taiwanese companies.

Among the major automakers, Toyota is rising 0.4 percent and Honda is higher by more than 1 percent.

In the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is adding 0.2 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is advancing almost 1 percent.

In the oil space, Inpex is gaining more than 14 percent after the energy explorer raised its full-year profit outlook by 37 percent. Japan Petroleum is higher by more than 7 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Taiyo Yuden is rising almost 8 percent, SoftBank Group is higher by almost 5 percent and Nikon Corp. is advancing more than 4 percent.

On the flip side, Kuraray Co. is losing more than 6 percent, Yamaha Motor is declining more than 4 percent and Tokai Carbon is down almost 4 percent.

On the economic front, the Bank of Japan said that producer prices in Japan were down 0.6 percent on month in January, unchanged from the December reading but well shy of expectations for a decline of 0.2 percent.

Export prices were down 2.5 percent on month and 3.3 percent on year, the bank said, while import prices sank 5.0 percent on month and 1.6 percent on year.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid 110 yen-range on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed sharply higher on Tuesday amid optimism lawmakers will manage to avoid another government shutdown after negotiators reached a tentative agreement on border security. Optimism about the next round of U.S.-China trade talks taking place this week also contributed to the strength on Wall Street.

The Dow soared 372.65 points or 1.5 percent to 25,425.76, the Nasdaq jumped 106.71 points or 1.5 percent to 7,414.62 and the S&P 500 surged up 34.93 points or 1.3 percent to 2,744.73.

European markets also moved higher on Tuesday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.8 percent and the German DAX Index jumped by 1 percent.

Crude oil prices surged higher on Tuesday on hopes OPEC-led production cuts and the U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela will help tighten crude supply in the global market. WTI crude for March ended up $0.69 or 1.3 percent at $53.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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