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Japanese Market Rises Ahead Of BOJ Decision

The Japanese stock market is rising on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced its widely expected decision to cut interest rates for the second time this year.

Investors now look ahead to the Bank of Japan's monetary policy decision due later today. The central bank is widely expected to keep its benchmark lending rate unchanged at -0.1 percent, although it may introduce other means of stimulus.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 273.40 points or 1.24 percent to 22,234.11, after touching a high of 22,255.56 in early trades. Japanese shares closed slightly lower on Wednesday to snap a ten-day winning streak.

Among oil stocks, Japan Petroleum is gaining almost 2 percent and Inpex is adding 0.6 percent even as crude oil prices extended losses overnight.

The major exporters are mostly higher on a weaker yen. Canon and Mitsubishi Electric are higher by almost 1 percent each, while Panasonic is adding 0.4 percent. Sony is edging down 0.1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is rising almost 4 percent and Tokyo Electron is adding 0.6 percent. In the auto sector, Honda Motor is advancing almost 1 percent and Toyota Motor is edging up 0.1 percent.

Toyota said it will invest $391 million at its pickup truck assembly plant in San Antonio, Texas, as part of its plan to invest $13 billion in its U.S. operations over five years through 2021.

Market heavyweight SoftBank and Fast Retailing are higher by more than 1 percent each.

Among the other major gainers, Chughai Pharmaceutical and Kansai Electric Power are gaining almost 4 percent each, while Sony Financial Holdings and Chubu Electric Power are higher by more than 3 percent each.

On the economic front, Japan will also see July results for its all industry activity index.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 108 yen-range on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed little changed on Wednesday after seeing considerable volatility following the Federal Reserve's widely expected decision to cut rates by another 25 basis points, lowering the target range for the federal funds rate to 1-3/4 to 2 percent. The accompanying statement was largely unchanged from July, with the Fed reiterating that the labor market remains strong and that economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate.

While the Nasdaq edged down 8.62 points or 0.1 percent to 8,177.39, the Dow inched up 36.28 points or 0.1 percent to 27,147.08 and the S&P 500 crept up 1.03 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 3,006.73.

The major European markets also turned mixed on Wednesday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index both inched up by 0.1 percent.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Wednesday, extending losses to a second straight session after having moved sharply higher on Monday amid an escalation in geopolitical tensions after the drone attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities. WTI crude for October ended down $1.23 or about 2.1 percent at $58.11 a barrel.

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