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Japanese Market Rises

The Japanese stock market is rising on Monday despite the negative cues from Wall Street Friday as investor sentiment was boosted by data released over the weekend that showed China's factory activity returned to expansion in November for the first time in seven months.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 211.17 points or 0.91 percent to 23,505.08, after touching a high of 23,552.14 in early trades. Japanese shares closed lower on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging up 0.1 percent and Fast Retailing is advancing almost 1 percent.

The major exporters are higher on a weaker yen. Sony and Mitsubishi Electric are adding more than 1 percent each, while Panasonic and Canon are rising almost 1 percent each.

In the tech space, Tokyo Electron is advancing more than 1 percent and Advantest is higher by 0.6 percent. Among auto stocks, Honda Motor is rising almost 2 percent and Toyota Motor is adding more than 1 percent.

In the oil sector, Inpex is lower by almost 1 percent and Japan Petroleum is down 0.1 percent.

Among the major gainers, Sumitomo Electric Industries and Nissan Chemical are rising more than 3 percent each, while GS Yuasa is higher by almost 3 percent.

On the economic front, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed that the manufacturing sector in Japan continued to contract in November, albeit at a slower pace, with a manufacturing PMI score of 48.9. That's up from 48.4 in October, although it remains solidly beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

The Ministry of Finance said that overall capital spending in Japan was up 7.1 percent on quarter in the third quarter of 2019, exceeding expectations for an increase of 5.0 percent and up from 1.9 percent in the previous three months.

Company profits tumbled 5.3 percent on quarter, shy of expectations for a drop of 2.0 percent following a decline of 12.0 percent in the second quarter. Company sales slid 2.6 percent after rising 0.4 percent in the second quarter.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 109 yen-range on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed lower on Friday in an abbreviated trading session as traders cashed in on recent gains amid concerns rising tensions between the U.S. and China over the situation in Hong Kong could impact the ongoing trade talks. Trading activity remained relatively light, however, with many traders still away from their desks following the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday.

The Dow fell 112.59 points or 0.4 percent to 28,051.41, the Nasdaq slid 39.70 points or 0.5 percent to 8,665.47 and the S&P 500 dropped 12.65 points or 0.4 percent to 3,140.98.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on Friday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index slid by 0.9 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index both edged down by 0.1 percent.

Crude oil prices tumbled on Friday amid concerns rising tensions between the U.S. and China over the situation in Hong Kong could impact the ongoing trade talks. The resignation of Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi also contributed to the steep drop. WTI crude for January delivery plunged $2.94 or 5.1 percent to $55.17 a barrel.

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