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Japanese Market Pares Gains

The Japanese stock market opened higher on Monday following the positive cues from Wall Street Friday after the release of upbeat U.S. jobs data for the month of November. However, the market has pared initial gains as investors digested data that showed China's exports declined in November for the fourth consecutive month.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 52.56 points or 0.23 percent to 23,406.96, after touching a high of 23,544.31 earlier. Japanese shares rose on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group Corp. and Fast Retailing are advancing almost 1 percent each.

The major exporters are higher despite a slightly stronger yen. Panasonic is rising more than 1 percent, Sony is advancing 1 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is adding 0.4 percent and Canon is edging up 0.1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is declining more than 1 percent while Tokyo Electron is up 0.2 percent. Among auto stocks, Honda Motor is up 0.2 percent, while Toyota Motor is down 0.4 percent.

In the oil sector, Japan Petroleum is surging almost 4 percent and Inpex is gaining almost 3 percent after crude oil prices rose more than 1 percent on Friday.

Among the other major gainers, Idemitsu Kosan is gaining almost 3 percent, while IHI Corp., NTN Corp., JXTG Holdings and JGC Holdings are rising more than 2 percent each.

On the flip side, Terumo Corp., Sekisui House, Fujitsu, Mitsui Fudosan and Olympus Corp. are all losing almost 2 percent each.

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

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Friday after the Labor Department's closely watched monthly employment report showed much stronger than expected U.S. job growth in the month of November. The report said non-farm payroll employment surged up by 266,000 jobs in November after climbing by an upwardly revised 156,000 jobs in October. Economists had expected an increase of about 180,000 jobs compared to the addition of 128,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

The Dow soared 337.26 points or 1.2 percent to 28,015.06, the Nasdaq surged up 85.83 points or 1 percent to 8,656.53 and the S&P 500 jumped 28.48 points or 0.9 percent to 3,145.91.

The major European markets also showed strong moves to the upside on Friday. While the German DAX Index advanced by 0.9 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index surged up by 1.2 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

WTI crude for January delivery climbed $0.77 or about 1.3 percent to $59.20 a barrel on Friday after OPEC and its allies confirmed plans to deepen oil production cuts to 1.7 million barrels a day.

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