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Japanese Market Sharply Higher

The Japanese stock market is trading sharply higher on Friday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 adding more than 600 points to be just below the 28,300 level, following the firmly positive cues overnight from Wall Street, as traders reacted to a U.S. debt ceiling agreement, upbeat economic news and a spike in crude oil prices.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 612.32 points or 2.21 percent to 28,290.53, after touching a high of 28,321.35 earlier. Japanese shares closed modestly higher on Thursday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining 4.5 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding more than 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining 2.5 percent and Toyota is adding almost 4 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining almost 1 percent, Tokyo Electron is adding more than 3 percent and Screen Holdings is up more than 2 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is edging up 0.1 percent, Mizuho Financial is gaining almost 1 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging up 0.3 percent.

Among major exporters, Panasonic is gaining more than 3 percent and Canon is adding more than 4 percent, while Sony and Mitsubishi Electric are up almost 2 percent each.

Among the other major gainers, Mitsubishi Motors is gaining more than 5 percent, while Nexon and Suzuki Motor are adding almost 5 percent each. Okuma, Fujikura, Mitsui E&S Holdings, Mazda Motor, Idemitsu Kosan, Inpex, JFE Holdings and Konica Minolta are up more than 4 percent each. Idemitsu Kosan and Recruit Holdings are up almost 4 percent each.

Conversely, Rakuten Group is losing more than 2 percent.

In economic news, the average of household spending in Japan was down 3.0 percent on year in August, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday - coming in at 266,638 yen. That missed expectations for a decline of 1.5 percent following the 0.7 percent increase in July. On a monthly basis, household spending sank 3.9 percent - again missing forecasts for a decline of 2.0 percent after slipping 0.9 percent in the previous month. The average of monthly income per household stood at 555,009 yen, up 5.4 percent from the previous year.

Meanwhile, Japan posted a current account surplus of 1,665.6 billion yen in August, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday. That exceeded expectations for a surplus of 1,540.9 billion yen and was down from the 1,910.8 billion yen surplus in July. Imports were up 45.9 percent on year to 6,886.2 billion yen, while exports jumped an annual 27.1 percent to 6,513.8 billion yen for a trade deficit of 372.4 billion yen. The capital account showed a deficit of 11.7 billion yen in August, while the financial account saw a surplus of 812.0 billion yen.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 111 yen-range on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks moved notably higher during trading on Thursday, extending the upward move seen over the course of the previous session. The major averages closed higher for the third consecutive session following the steep drop seen on Monday.

The major averages pulled back off their best levels in afternoon trading but remained firmly positive. The Dow jumped 337.95 points or 1 percent to 34,754.94, the Nasdaq surged up 152.10 points or 1.1 percent to 14,654.02 and the S&P 500 advanced 36.21 points or 0.8 percent to 4,399.76.

The major European markets also showed strong moves to the upside. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index jumped by 1.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index surged up by 1.7 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices advanced Thursday, rebounding from losses in the previous session, on reports the U.S. Energy Department is unlikely to tap the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended up $0.87 or 1.1 percent at $78.30 a barrel.

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