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Japanese Market Recovers After Weak Start

The Japanese stock market recovered after a weak start on Thursday following the overnight losses on Wall Street and is modestly higher.

Investor sentiment received a boost following news that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to ease voluntary restrictions on dining and travel amid a downward trend in coronavirus infections in the capital city.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 45.63 points or 0.20 percent to 23,281.10, after touching a low of 23,114.63 in early trades. Japanese stocks closed higher on Thursday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is down 0.3 percent, while Fast Retailing is advancing more than 1 percent.

The major exporters are mostly higher with modest gains on a weaker yen. Canon is rising 0.5 percent, Sony is adding 0.4 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is edging up 0.2 percent, while Panasonic is down 0.3 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is rising more than 1 percent, while Tokyo Electron is down 0.2 percent after U.S. tech stocks resumed their slide overnight. In the financial sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is down 0.2 percent, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is rising 0.3 percent.

Among automakers, Honda Motor is lower by almost 1 percent and Toyota is declining 0.2 percent. In the oil sector, Japan Petroleum is lower by more than 1 percent and Inpex is losing almost 1 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Rakuten and Yamaha Corp. are rising more than 3 percent each, while Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, JTEKT Corp. and Citizen Watch are advancing almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Sekisui House is losing more than 4 percent, while Shinsei Bank and Suzuki Motor are lower by more than 3 percent each.

In economic news, the Bank of Japan said that producer prices in Japan were up 0.2 percent on month in August, in line with forecasts and down from 0.8 percent in July.
Japan will also third-quarter results for the BSI large manufacturing index today.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 106 yen-range on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks extended a significant rebound from the previous session in early trading on Thursday reflecting strength among tech stocks, but pulled back sharply over the course of the session. Potentially adding to the negative sentiment, Senate Republicans failed to advance a new coronavirus stimulus bill. On the U.S. economic front, the Labor Department released a report showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly came in unchanged in the week ended September 5.

The Dow tumbled 405.89 points or 1.5 percent to 27,534.58, the Nasdaq plummeted 221.97 points or 2 percent to 10,919.59 and the S&P 500 plunged 59.77 points or 1.8 percent to 3,339.19.

The major European markets moved modestly lower on Thursday. While the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.4 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index both dipped by 0.2 percent.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Thursday after data showed an increase in U.S. crude inventories in the week ended September 4. WTI crude for October delivery fell $0.75 or about 2 percent to $37.30 a barrel.

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