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Japanese Market Sharply Higher

The Japanese stock market is sharply higher after early losses on Thursday, recouping some of the sharp losses of the previous two sessions, with the Nikkei 225 gaining more than 500 points to break above the 29,000 mark, following positive cues overnight from Wall Street. However, worries about possible coronavirus-related lockdowns in major cities amid the continuing surge in coronavirus cases is weighing on sentiment and limiting the markets' upside.

Japan reported nationwide daily infections of topped 5000 for the first time in three months. The country's government is mulling fresh coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo as well as Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures on Friday.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is gaining 530.52 points or 1.86 percent to 29,039.07, after touching a high of 29,062.85 in earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply lower on Wednesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining almost 2 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota is gaining more than 1 percent each.

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining more than 3 percent, while Screen Holdings and Tokyo Electron are adding more than 4 percent each. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is flat and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging up 0.5 percent.

The major exporters are mostly higher. Mitsubishi Electric is gaining more than 3 percent, Sony is edging up 0.5 percent, Canon is adding more than 1 percent and Panasonic is adding almost 2 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Mitsui OSK Lines and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha are adding almost 5 percent each, while JFT Holdings and Olympus are up almost 4 percent each. Nippon Yusen, Sumco, Kikkoman, Nippon Steel, Rakuten, Chugai Pharmaceuticals and Terumo are adding more than 3 percent each.

Conversely, there are not many losers.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading around the 108 yen-range on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks showed a strong move back to the upside during trading on Wednesday following the pullback seen over the two previous sessions. The major averages saw initial weakness but climbed firmly into positive territory as the day progressed.

The major averages saw further upside going into the close, ending the session near their best levels of the day. The Dow jumped 316.01 points or 0.9 percent to 34,137.31, the Nasdaq surged up 163.95 points or 1.2 percent to 13,950.22 and the S&P 500 advanced 38.48 points or 0.9 percent to 4,173.42.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.7 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index rose by 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures declined sharply on Wednesday amid rising concerns about the outlook for energy demand due to rising coronavirus infections in India. Data showing an unexpected uptick in U.S. crude inventories also weighed on oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June fell $1.32 or 2.1 percent at $61.35 a barrel, the lowest close since April 13.

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