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Japanese Market Sharply Higher

The Japanese stock market is sharply higher on Monday after briefly treading in the red at open, extending the gains in the previous two sessions, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 28,500 level, ignoring the negative cues from Wall Street on Friday, after the new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reversed his decision to raise capital gains taxes and dividends.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is up 472.14 points or 1.68 percent at 28,521.08, after touching a high of 28,581.36 and hitting a low of 27,893.32 earlier. Japanese shares ended significantly higher on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining almost 3 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding more than 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota are gaining more than 2 percent each.

In the tech space, Advantest is edging up 0.4 percent and Screen Holdings is gaining more than 1 percent, while Tokyo Electron is edging down 0.1 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial are gaining almost 2 percent each, while Mizuho Financial is adding more than 1 percent.

The major exporters are higher, with Panasonic gaining almost 7 percent, Sony adding more than 4 percent, Mitsubishi Electric up more than 1 percent and Canon rising almost 2 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Nexon is gaining more than 5 percent, while AGC and Mitsubishi Motors are higher by more than 4 percent each. Nissan Motor, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Toho Zinc and Nippon Yusen K.K. are adding almost 4 percent each, while Citizen Watch, Toyota Tsusho, T&D Holdings and Recruit Holdings are up more than 3 percent each.

Conversely, there are no major losers.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 112 yen-range on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading session on Friday, following a three-day winning streak. The major averages spent most of the session bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

The major averages finished the day in negative territory, with the Nasdaq underperforming its counterparts. While the Nasdaq fell 74.49 points or 0.5 percent to 14,579.54, the Dow edged down 8.69 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 34,746.25 and the S&P 500 dipped 8.42 points or 0.2 percent to 4,391.34.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index fell 0.3 percent and the French CAC 40 Index slid 0.6 percent.

Crude oil futures jumped Friday after surging past $80 a barrel for the first time in seven years amid tighter supplies and signs of increasing demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November jumped $1.05 or 1.3 percent at $79.35 a barrel after climbing to a high of $80.11 a barrel. WTI crude futures gained 4.6 percent in the week, gaining for a seventh straight week.

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