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Japanese Market Advances

The Japanese stock market is advancing on Monday despite the lackluster cues from Wall Street Friday and concerns over rising U.S.-China tensions. Investor sentiment was buoyed by news that the Japanese government plans to completely lift the state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic in Tokyo and other areas today.

In addition, the Nikkei newspaper reported that the Japanese government is finalizing a coronvirus relief package of more than 100 trillion yen, or $928 billion, to aid struggling companies.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 206.35 1.01 20594.51, after touching a high of 20,713.02 in early trades. Japanese shares closed lower on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is adding 0.4 3 percent and Fast Retailing is rising more than 2 percent.

The major exporters are mostly higher on a weaker yen. Panasonic and Mitsubishi Electric are adding more than 1 percent each, while Canon is up 0.5 percent. Sony is edging down 0.1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is down 0.4 percent, while Tokyo Electron is up 0.5 percent. Among automakers, Honda Motor is gaining almost 3 percent, while Toyota is rising almost 1 percent.

In the oil sector, Inpex is gaining more than 2 percent and Japan Petroleum is adding 0.7 percent even as crude oil prices declined on Friday.

Among the other major gainers, Casio Computer is gaining more than 10 percent and ANA Holdings is rising almost 6 percent. IHI Corp. and Tokyu Fudosan are higher by more than 5 percent each.

On the flip side, Nippon Sheet Glass is losing more than 4 percent and Fujifilm Holdings is lower by almost 4 percent.

In economic news, Japan will see final March numbers for its leading and coincident economic indexes today.

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

On Wall Street, stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading session on Friday before ending the day little changed. Concerns about rising tensions between the U.S. and China kept traders on the sidelines, as Beijing moved to strengthen control over Hong Kong with new security laws. U.S. President Donald Trump warned that Washington would react "very strongly" if China follows through on its plans. The latest developments come after the Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would potentially delist Chinese stocks from U.S. exchanges.

While the Dow edged down 8.96 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 24,465.16, the Nasdaq climbed 39.71 points or 0.4 percent to 9,324.59 and the S&P 500 rose 6.94 points or 0.2 percent to 2,955.45.

The major European markets turned in a mixed performance on Friday. While the German DAX Index inched up by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index closed just below the unchanged line and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.4 percent.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Friday as concerns about the outlook for energy demand resurfaced due to rising tensions between the U.S. and China over Hong Kong. WTI crude for July delivery slid $0.67 or about 2 percent to $33.25 a barrel.

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