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Japanese Market Rises In Choppy Trade

The Japanese stock market is rising in choppy trade on Thursday following the mostly positive cues overnight from Wall Street on news about a potential coronavirus vaccine and upbeat U.S. manufacturing data.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 62.63 points or 0.28 percent to 22,184.36, after touching a low of 22,072.11 earlier. Japanese shares closed lower on Wednesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is rising more than 2 percent, while Fast Retailing is down 0.3 percent.

In the financial sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group is advancing almost 1 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ is adding 0.4 percent.

The major exporters are mostly higher despite a stronger yen. Sony is rising more than 1 percent, Panasonic is advancing almost 1 percent and Canon is adding 0.2 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric is down 0.4 percent.

In the tech space, Tokyo Electron is edging up 0.1 percent, while Advantest is declining more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota are adding more than 1 percent each.

In the oil sector, Japan Petroleum is edging down 0.1 percent, while Inpex is up 0.4 percent after crude oil prices rose overnight.

Among the major gainers, Yamato Holdings is rising more than 4 percent, while Isetan Mitsukoshi and Keio Corp. are higher by almost 3 percent each.

On the flip side, Sumco Corp. is losing more than 3 percent and Screen Holdings is declining almost 3 percent. Mitsui Mining & Smelting and Nippon Light Metal are lower by more than 2 percent each.

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

On Wall Street, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 moved notably higher on Wednesday, while the Dow showed a lack of direction before closing in negative territory. The upward moves by the Nasdaq and S&P 500 came after drug giant Pfizer and German biotech company BioNTech announced positive data from an early-stage human trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine. Adding to the overall positive sentiment, the Institute for Supply Management released a report showing U.S. manufacturing activity unexpectedly expanded in the month of June.

The Dow declined 77.91 points or 0.3 percent to 25,734.97, while, the Nasdaq jumped 95.86 points or 1 percent to 10,154.63 and the S&P 500 climbed 15.57 points or 0.5 percent to 3,115.86.

The major European closed modestly lower on Wednesday in a choppy session. While the German DAX Index fell by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index both edged down by 0.2 percent.

Crude oil futures ended notably higher on Wednesday, as official data showed a sharp fall in U.S. crude inventories last week. Data showing improvement in manufacturing activity in the U.S., China and Germany contributed as well to oil's surge. WTI crude for August delivery climbed $0.55 or about 1.4 percent to $39.82 a barrel.

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