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Japanese Market Rises

The Japanese stock market is rising on Friday following the positive cues overnight from Wall Street on news that U.S. regulators plan to ease investment regulations for banks. The news helped offset worries about the spiking coronavirus cases in a number of U.S. states.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 199.43 points or 0.90 percent to 22,459.22, after touching a high of 22,494.77 earlier. Japanese shares closed lower on Thursday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is rising more than 2 percent and Fast Retailing is adding 0.3 percent.

In the financial sector, Aozora Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Mitsubishi UFJ and Resona Holdings are all higher by almost 2 percent each, following the gains by their U.S. counterparts overnight.

The major exporters are mostly higher on a weaker yen. Panasonic is advancing more than 1 percent, while Canon and Mitsubishi Electric are advancing almost 1 percent each. Sony is down 0.3 percent.

In the tech space, Tokyo Electron is rising almost 2 percent and Advantest is higher by more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Toyota is up more than 1 percent, while Honda is edging down 0.1 percent.

In the oil sector, Japan Petroleum is lower by more than 1 percent and Inpex is declining almost 1 percent even as crude oil prices rose almost 2 percent overnight.

Among the major gainers, Fujitsu is rising more than 4 percent, while FamilyMart and Nomura Holdings are gaining almost 4 percent each.

On the flip side, SkyPerfect JSAT Holdings is lower by more than 3 percent, while Nippon Sheet Glass and Rakuten are losing more than 2 percent each.

In economic news, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said that overall consumer prices in the Tokyo area were up 0.3 percent on year in June. That missed expectations for an increase of 0.6 percent on year and was down from 0.4 percent in May.

Core CPI, which excludes volatile food prices, rose 0.2 percent on year - in line with expectations and unchanged from the May reading.

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

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Thursday, reflecting strength among financial stocks came amid news U.S. regulators plan to ease banking regulations, including allowing banks to more easily make investments in riskier funds such as venture capital funds. Traders were also looking ahead to the release of the results of the Federal Reserve's stress tests after the close of trading.

The Dow shot up 299.66 points or 1.2 percent to 25,745.60, the Nasdaq jumped 107.84 points or 1.1 percent to 10,017.00 and the S&P 500 surged up 33.43 points or 1.1 percent to 3,083.76.

The major European markets moved to the upside on Thursday. While the French CAC 40 Index jumped by 1 percent, the German DAX Index advanced by 0.7 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.4 percent.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Thursday, recovering from losses in the previous two sessions, despite continued concerns about energy demand outlook in the wake of reports showing a surge in new coronavirus cases. WTI crude for August delivery rose $0.71 or 1.9 percent to $38.72 a barrel.

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