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Japanese Market Rises

The Japanese stock market is rising on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous sessions, despite the weak cues overnight from Wall Street.

Data showing that Japan's core machine orders fell less than expected in March boosted sentiment. Reports that Japan is considering lifting a state of emergency in Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto later this week also lifted stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is advancing 112.25 points or 0.55 percent to 20,545.70, after touching a high of 20,567.75 earlier. Japanese shares closed notably higher on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is down 0.2 percent, while Fast Retailing is advancing more than 1 percent.

The major exporters are mixed despite a weaker yen. Sony is declining more than 2 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is down 0.6 percent, while Panasonic and Canon are adding 0.2 percent each.

In the tech space, Advantest is higher by more than 2 percent and Tokyo Electron is rising almost 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda Motor is declining almost 1 percent and Toyota is down 0.5 percent.

In the oil sector, Japan Petroleum is declining more than 2 percent and Inpex is lower by 0.4 percent even as crude oil prices rose overnight.

Sony Financial is gaining almost 8 percent after the Nikkei reported that Sony will turn Sony Financial into a wholly-owned unit through a tender offer worth about 400 billion yen, or $3.7 billion.

Among the other major gainers, Furukawa Electric is climbing more than 16 percent, while Screen Holdings and Fujikura are rising almost 4 percent each.

On the flip side, Denka Co. is losing 3 percent, while Fujifilm Holdings and Mitsubishi Motors are lower by almost 3 percent each.

In economic news, the Cabinet Office said that core machine orders in Japan slid a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent on month in March, standing at 854.7 billion yen. That beat expectations for a tumble of 7.1 percent, following the 2.3 percent increase in February.

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

On Wall Street, stocks closed lower on Tuesday as traders cashed in on the rally seen in the previous session. Traders have recently expressed considerable optimism about the economy reopening, although lingering concerns about the coronavirus pandemic led to some caution. Traders were also reacting to comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who reaffirmed the central bank will provide more support to the economy.

The Dow tumbled 390.51 points or 1.6 percent to 24,206.86, the Nasdaq slid 49.72 points or 0.5 percent to 9,185.10 and the S&P 500 slumped 30.97 points or 1.1 percent to 2,922.94.

The major European markets ended mixed on Tuesday. While the German DAX Index edged up by 0.2 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.8 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices rose on Tuesday, supported by increased demand and output cuts, on the expiration of the front-month contract. WTI crude for June delivery climbed $0.68 or about 2.1 percent to $32.50 a barrel.

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