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Japanese Market Rises

The Japanese stock market is rising on Monday following the gains on Wall Street Friday on upbeat tech earnings results. In addition, a weaker yen lifted shares of exporters.

Tokyo confirmed 292 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, down from the record-breaking highs reported in recent days. However, the total number of coronavirus cases reported across Japan topped 1,000 for the fifth straight day.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 440.60 points or 2.03 percent to 22,150.60, after rising to a high of 22,157.73 earlier. Japanese shares closed notably lower on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 4 percent and Fast Retailing is advancing more than 1 percent.

Graphics processing chip maker Nvidia is in advanced talks to buy UK-based chip designer Arm Holdings from SoftBank Group, according to reports.

In the tech space, Advantest is down 0.5 percent, while Tokyo Electron is rising 0.4 percent.

The major exporters are mostly higher on a weaker yen. Canon is gaining more than 4 percent, Sony is rising more than 2 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is adding almost 1 percent, while Panasonic is declining more than 1 percent.

In the financial sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is advancing almost 2 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is adding more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda Motor is rising 3 percent and Toyota is up more than 1 percent.

In the oil sector, Inpex is higher by more than 1 percent, while Japan Petroleum is down 0.4 percent after crude oil prices rose on Friday.

Among the other major gainers, Z Holdings is gaining more than 14 percent and Alps Alpine is rising almost 10 percent. Suzuki Motor and Okuma Corp. are higher by more than 7 percent each.

Conversely, Casio Computer is losing more than 14 percent and Seven & I Holdings is lower by almost 8 percent. Shinsei Bank and NEC Corp. are declining more than 5 percent each.

Retail group Seven & I Holdings, owner of the 7-Eleven convenience store chain, said it has agreed to buy the Speedway gas stations in the U.S. from Marathon Petroleum for $21 billion.

In economic news, the Cabinet Office said Japan's final reading for gross domestic product in the first quarter of 2020 was unrevised, showing a 2.2 percent annualized decline and a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent quarterly contraction. That was unchanged from June's advance reading and was in line with expectations.

The latest survey from Jibun Bank showed that the manufacturing sector in Japan continued to contract in July, albeit at a slower rate, with a manufacturing PMI score of 45.2. That's up from 40.1 in June, although it remains beneath the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 106 yen-range on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Friday in a volatile session, partly reflecting a positive reaction to better than expected quarterly results from several leading technology companies such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google. The upbeat tech earnings news seemed to overshadow concerns about stalled negotiations over a new coronavirus stimulus package. With the Republican-controlled Senate adjourning for the weekend on Thursday, a $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit is set to expire at the end of the day.

After falling as much as 300 points, the Dow ended the day up 114.67 points or 0.4 percent at 26,428.32. The Nasdaq surged up 157.46 points or 1.5 percent to 10,745.27 and the S&P 500 climbed 24.90 points or 0.8 percent at 3,271.12.

The major European markets moved to the downside on Friday. While the German DAX Index slid by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index tumbled by 1.4 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures closed higher on Friday, bouncing back from losses in the previous session, buoyed by a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration that said oil production fell sharply in May. WTI crude for September delivery rose $0.35 or about 0.9 percent to $40.27 a barrel.

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