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Japanese Market Significantly Higher

The Japanese stock market is trading significantly higher on Friday, recouping the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 moving above the 30,300 level as traders remain optimistic that a new government will implement new economic measures to alleviate the prolonged impact of the pandemic. Japan also set out a pandemic exit strategy.

However, the nation continues its struggle to contain the domestic coronavirus infection rates, with COVID-19 state of emergency extended in Tokyo and 18 other prefectures until the end of this month, beyond the currently scheduled expiration on Sunday. The state of emergency is currently in place in 21 of Japan's 47 prefectures.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is gaining 341.92 points or 1.14 percent to 30,350.11, after touching a high of 30,351.06 earlier. Japanese shares closed modestly lower on Thursday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging up 0.2 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is flat. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota are edging up 0.4 percent each.

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining more than 1 percent, Screen Holdings is adding more than 3 percent and Tokyo Electron is up more than 2 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are gaining almost 1 percent each, while Mizuho Financial is edging up 0.4 percent.

Among major exporters, Mitsubishi Electric is flat, while Panasonic is gaining more than 2 percent, Sony is adding more than 1 percent and Canon is up almost 1 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Nikon is gaining 4.5 percent, while Seiko Epson and Shiseido
are adding 3.5 percent each. DeNA, Pacific Metals and NEC are up more than 3 percent each, while Sekisui House, Sumco and Fujikura are higher by 2.5 percent each.

Conversely, Eisai is losing almost 9 percent, NEXON is down almost 8 percent, Tokyo Electric Power is lower by almost 6 percent and Tokuyama is declining more than 2 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 109 yen-range on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks moved mostly lower over the course of the trading session on Thursday after failing to sustain an early move to the upside. The major averages pulled back well off their early highs and into negative territory.

The major averages all finished the day in the red, with the Dow and the S&P 500 closing lower for the fourth straight session. The Dow fell 151.69 points or 0.4 percent to 34,879.38, the Nasdaq dipped 38.38 points or 0.3 percent to 15,248.25 and the S&P 500 slid 20.79 points or 0.5 percent to 4,493.28.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance following the ECB announcement. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index slumped by 1 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index inched up by 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures settled sharply lower Thursday, weighed down by reports that China is looking to release some crude stock from its national reserve. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended down by $1.16 or 1.7 percent at $68.14 a barrel.

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