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Japanese Market Advances

The Japanese stock market is advancing and the safe-haven yen weakened on Friday following the positive cues overnight from Wall Street amid optimism about U.S.-China trade talks after U.S. President Donald Trump revealed he plans to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He later today.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 179.82 points or 0.83 percent to 21,731.80, after touching a high of 21,749.93 in early trades. Japanese stocks closed higher on Thursday.

The major exporters are higher on a weaker safe-haven yen. Panasonic, Canon and Sony are advancing more than 1 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric is adding 0.6 percent.

In the auto sector, Honda Motor is advancing almost 2 percent and Toyota Motor is rising more than 1 percent.

Market heavyweight SoftBank is down 0.2 percent, while Fast Retailing is rising almost 3 percent.

Among oil stocks, Inpex is rising more than 2 percent and Japan Petroleum is higher by more than 1 percent after crude oil prices gained overnight.

In the tech space, Advantest is declining more than 1 percent, while Tokyo Electron is up 0.2 percent.

Lawson said Wednesday it will close around 100 stores, representing less than 1 percent of its nationwide network of more than 14,000 stores, on January 1, 2020, amid Japan's labor shortage. The convenience store chain operator's shares are advancing more than 2 percent.

Seven & i Holdings said it will cut about 3,000 jobs by the end of fiscal 2022 and also close two Seibu as well as three Sogo locations, as part of a major restructuring plan. The retailer's shares are gaining almost 6 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Kajima Corp. is rising almost 2 percent and Taisei Corp. is advancing more than 1 percent.

On the flip side, Yaskawa Electric is declining more than 2 percent, while Toho Co. and NEC Corp. are losing almost 2 percent each.

On the economic front, Japan will provide September numbers for money stocks today.

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

On Wall Street, stocks extended gains on Thursday from the previous session after U.S. President Donald Trump revealed he plans to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He as part of high-level U.S.-China trade talks. The tweet from Trump offset concerns generated by reports suggesting Liu could leave Washington earlier than originally planned.

The Dow climbed 150.66 points or 0.6 percent to 26,496.67, the Nasdaq advanced 47.04 points or 0.6 percent to 7,950.78 and the S&P 500 rose 18.73 points or 0.6 percent to 2,938.13.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on Thursday. While the French CAC 40 Index surged up by 1.3 percent, the German DAX Index climbed by 0.6 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.3 percent.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Thursday as OPEC said that it has all options in place to balance oil markets and that it would take a decision in December regarding supply. WTI crude for November delivery rose $0.96 or about 1.8 percent to $53.55 a barrel.

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