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Japanese Market Advances

The Japanese stock market is advancing on Tuesday despite the modest losses overnight on Wall Street. Investors digested upbeat Japanese economic data and remained optimistic as they looked ahead to the start of the next round of U.S.-China trade talks on Thursday.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is rising 164.91 points or 0.77 percent to 21,540.16 after touching a high of 21,586.90 earlier. Japanese stocks closed lower on Monday.

The major exporters are mostly higher yen. Canon is advancing almost 1 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is rising 0.2 percent and Panasonic is up 0.1 percent while Sony is declining 0.2 percent.

In the auto sector, Toyota Motor is advancing more than 1 percent and Honda Motor is rising 0.4 percent. In the tech space, Advantest is gaining more than 3 percent and Tokyo Electron is higher by almost 1 percent.

Market heavyweight SoftBank is adding 0.4 percent, while Fast Retailing is rising more than 1 percent.

Among oil stocks, Inpex is advancing almost 1 percent, while Japan Petroleum is edging down 0.1 percent after crude oil prices edged lower overnight.

Among the other major gainers, Marubeni Corp. is gaining almost 5 percent, IHI Corp. is advancing almost 4 percent and Toho Zinc is rising more than 3 percent.

On the economic front, the Ministry of Finance said that Japan had a current account surplus of 2,157.7 billion yen in August, up 18.3 percent on year. That beat expectations for a surplus of 2,100 billion yen and was up from the 1,999.9 billion yen surplus in July.

The trade balance reflected a surplus of 50.9 billion yen, beating forecasts for 36.4 billion yen following the 74.5 billion yen deficit in the previous month. Imports were down 12.7 percent on year to 6,029.9 billion yen, while exports fell an annual 8.6 percent to 6,080.8 billion yen.

The Ministry of Communications and Internal Affairs said that the average of household spending in Japan was up 1.0 percent on year in August, coming in at 296,327 yen. That was in line with expectations and up from 0.8 percent in July.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 107 yen-range on Tuesday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed modestly lower in choppy trade on Monday as traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the next round of high-level trade talks in Washington later this week. Ahead of the talks, scheduled to begin on Thursday, a report from Bloomberg News said Chinese officials are signaling they're increasingly reluctant to agree to the broad trade deal being pursued by President Donald Trump.

The Dow fell 95.70 points or 0.4 percent to 26,478.02, the Nasdaq dipped 26.18 points or 0.3 percent to 7,956.29 and the S&P 500 slid 13.22 points or 0.5 percent to 2,938.79.

The major European markets moved to the upside on Monday. While the German DAX Index advanced by 0.7 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index both rose by 0.6 percent.

Crude oil futures failed to hold early gains and ended slightly weak on Monday. WTI crude for November ended down $0.06 at $52.75 a barrel.

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