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Japanese Market Rises

The Japanese stock market is trading higher on Monday. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is gaining 318.34 points or 1.06 percent to 30,336.26, after touching a high of 30,458.13 earlier. The index closed lower on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is adding 2.4 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is rising more than 1.5 percent. Among automakers, Honda is advancing more than 1 percent, while Toyota is up 1.2 percent.

The major exporters are also mostly higher on a weaker yen. Panasonic is higher by more than 1 percent, Sony is advancing almost 1 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is adding 0.7 percent, and Canon is gaining 1.4 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is rising 2.4 percent and Tokyo Electron is surging 4.6 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is up 2 percent Mitsubishi UFJ Financial are rising 3.3 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Nissan Chemical Industries is adding more than 4 percent and Taiheiyo Cement is gaining more than 3 percent. Taiyo Yuden and Hitachi Zosen are also higher by more than 3 percent.

Conversely, Odakyu Electric Railway is losing more than 5 percent and Keisei Electric Railway is lower by more than 4percent. Tobu Railway, FANUC and Inpex are all declining more than 4 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 105 yen-range on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks gave back ground over the course of the trading session on Friday after moving mostly higher early in the session. The major averages pulled back off their best levels of the day before closing near the unchanged line.

The major averages finished the day with a mixed performance. While the S&P 500 dipped 7.26 points or 0.2 percent to 3,906.71, the Dow crept up 0.98 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 31,494.32 and the Nasdaq inched up 9.10 points or 0.1 percent to 13,874.46

The major European markets closed higher on Friday, recovering from recent losses. While the German DAX Index climbed 0.77 percent, the French CAC 40 advanced 0.7 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged up 0.1 percent.

Crude oil prices drifted lower Friday as worries about supply disruptions eased after most of the oil companies in Texas prepared to resume production. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended lower by $1.28 or 2.1 percent at $59.24 a barrel.

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