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Japanese Market Notably Higher

The Japanese stock market is notably higher on Tuesday and the safe-haven yen weakened following the overnight rally on Wall Street after biotechnology company Moderna reported "positive" phase one results for a potential coronavirus vaccine. Optimism about an economic recovery as more countries reopen their economies also lifted stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is gaining 404.40 points or 2.01 percent to 20,538.13, after touching a high of 20,659.46 in early trades. Japanese shares closed modestly higher on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group and Fast Retailing are adding more than 2 percent each.

SoftBank said Monday that it slipped to a loss for the full year, while net sales increased 1.5 percent. The company added that Jack Ma, the co-founder of Alibaba Group, is resigning from its board after 13 years.

The major exporters are higher on a slightly weaker yen. Panasonic is gaining more than 6 percent after the company said it is in talks with luxury electric car maker Tesla to expand their joint plant in Nevada.

Mitsubishi Electric is rising more than 3 percent, Canon is higher by more than 2 percent and Sony is advancing almost 2 percent.

In the tech space, Tokyo Electron is adding more than 1 percent and Advantest is up almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda Motor is gaining more than 4 percent and Toyota is adding more than 2 percent.

In the oil sector, Inpex is advancing almost 4 percent and Japan Petroleum is adding almost 1 percent after crude oil prices rose almost 7 percent on Friday.

Among the other major gainers, AGC Inc. is gaining almost 9 percent, while Hino Motors, Mitsui E&S Holdings and JTEKT Corp. are all rising more than 7 percent each.

On the flip side, Nichirei Corp. and M3 are lower by more than 1 percent each.

In economic news, Japan will see final March numbers for industrial production today.

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

On Wall Street, stocks rallied on Monday after Moderna reported "positive" phase one results for a potential coronavirus vaccine. The biotechnology company said an early-stage human trial for a vaccine produced antibodies in all 45 participants. Energy stocks also saw substantial strength on the day, benefiting from a sharp increase by the price of crude oil.

The Dow soared 911.95 points or 3.9 percent to 24,597.37, the Nasdaq surged up 220.27 points or 2.4 percent to 9,234.83 and the S&P 500 jumped 90.21 points or 3.2 percent to 2,953.91.

The major European markets also showed strong moves to the upside on Monday. While the German DAX Index spiked by 5.7 percent, the French CAC 40 Index jumped by 5.2 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index surged up by 4.3 percent.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Monday as positive news from biotech firm Moderna Inc. about an experimental COVID-19 vaccine, and reopening of businesses in several countries across the globe eased worries about outlook for energy demand. WTI crude for June gained $2.39 or about 8.1 percent at $31.82 a barrel.

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