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Japanese Market Modestly Higher

The Japanese stock market, which was closed for a holiday on Friday, is modestly higher on Monday in volatile trade as the market played catch-up with the rally in other Asian markets the previous day, while the safe-haven yen weakened against the U.S. dollar.

Nevertheless, worries about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy weighed on investor sentiment.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 64.68 points or 0.39 percent to 16,617.51, after climbing to a high of 16,833.56 in early trades. The Japanese market was closed for the Vernal Equinox holiday on Friday.

Meanwhile, market heavyweight SoftBank is rising more than 2 percent and Fast Retailing is edging up 0.1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining more than 9 percent and Tokyo Electron is advancing more than 2 percent.

In the oil sector, Japan Petroleum is gaining 7 percent and Inpex is rising almost 3 percent even as crude oil prices tumbled on Friday.

Meanwhile, the major exporters are mixed despite a weaker yen. Mitsubishi Electric and Panasonic are advancing more than 1 percent each, while Canon is losing almost 4 percent and Sony is lower by almost 3 percent.

In the auto sector, Honda Motor is declining more than 3 percent and Toyota Motor is lower by almost 3 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Yokogawa Electric is climbing 16 percent, Mitsui E&S Holdings is gaining more than 11 percent and Sompo Holdings is rising more than 10 percent.

On the flip side, Unitika, Nisshinbo Holdings and Ana Holdings are losing more than 9 percent each, while J Front Retailing and Isetan Mitsukoshi are lower by almost 9 percent each.

On the economic front, Japan will provide February results for convenience store sales today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 110 yen-range on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks shook off a higher open on Friday and sank into the red as the day progressed, offsetting gains from the previous session. The early strength on Wall Street came on optimism that the relief and support packages announced by global central banks and several governments will help limit the impact of the virus outbreak. But stocks turned lower in afternoon trade as the virus numbers and economic backlash continued to be worrisome.

The Dow shed 913.21 points or 4.55 percent to finish at 19,173.98, while the Nasdaq sank 271.06 points or 3.79 percent to 6,879.52 and the S&P 500 lost 104.47 points or 4.34 percent to end at 2,304.92.

The major European markets closed higher on Friday, extending gains from previous session, with investors continuing to react positively to a raft of relief and support packages announced by governments and central banks from across the globe. France's CAC 40 gained 4.34 percent, Germany's DAX ended up 3.1 precent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 closed with a modest 0.3 percent gain.

Crude oil prices tanked on Friday despite the announcement of relief measures from several countries and central banks to help limit the economic impact of the coronovirus pandemic. WTI crude for April ended down $2.69, or about 11 percent, at $22.53 a barrel on expiration day.

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