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Japanese Market Advances

The Japanese stock market is advancing on Monday following the positive cues from Wall Street Friday amid optimism about the U.S.-China trade talks that will resume in Washington this week. Better-than-expected Japanese core machine orders data also boosted investor sentiment.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is gaining 374.36 points or 1.79 percent to 21,274.99, after rising to a high of 21,278.40 earlier. Japanese shares fell sharply on Friday.

The major exporters are mostly higher on a weaker yen. Mitsubishi Electric is advancing almost 2 percent, while Canon and Panasonic are up 0.2 percent each. Sony is down 0.6 percent.

In the tech sector, Advantest is rising 1 percent and Tokyo Electron is advancing almost 1 percent.

Among the major automakers, Toyota is up 0.6 percent and Honda is adding almost 1 percent. In the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is rising almost 3 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is higher by more than 3 percent.

In the oil space, Inpex is adding almost 3 percent and Japan Petroleum is higher by 4 percent after crude oil prices gained more than 2 percent on Friday.

Among the other major gainers, Showa Shell Sekiyu, Bridgestone and Mitsui E&S Holdings are rising more than 5 percent each, while Asahi Kasei and Yaskawa Electric are gaining almost 5 percent each.

On the flip side, Olympus Corp. is losing almost 2 percent.

On the economic front, the Cabinet Office said that the value of core machine orders in Japan eased 0.1 percent on month in December, exceeding expectations for a decline of 1.0 percent following the flat reading in November.

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

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Friday amid continued optimism about trade talks between the U.S. and China. A statement from the White House said high level U.S.-China trade talks this week led to "progress between the two parties" but noted "much work remains." Traders also reacted positively to news that lawmakers and President Donald Trump managed to avoid another government shutdown.

The Dow soared 443.86 points or 1.7 percent to 25,883.25, the Nasdaq climbed 45.46 points or 0.6 percent to 7,472.41 and the S&P 500 jumped 29.87 points or 1.1 percent to 2,775.60.

The European stocks showed strong moves to the upside on Friday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index climbed by 0.6 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index surged up by 1.8 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures ended sharply higher on Friday, lifted by recent data showing declines in crude output from OPEC. Crude for March delivery surged up $1.18 or 2.2 percent to $55.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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