Japanese Market Notably Higher

The Japanese stock market is notably higher on Monday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 26,900 level, following the lack of major cues from Wall Street on Friday, as traders welcome the potential relaxation of border controls after scrapping COVID-19 tests for arrivals and some easing of masking guidelines.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is up 192.86 points or 0.72 percent at 26,931.89, after touching a high of 27,047.47 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply higher on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 1 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is adding almost 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is edging down 0.4 percent, while Toyota is edging up 0.3 percent.

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

The major exporters are higher, with Panasonic adding 1.5 percent and Sony edging up 0.3 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric and Canon are gaining almost 1 percent each.

Among the other major gainers, Tokio Marine is soaring more than 8 percent, Sompo Holdings is surging almost 7 percent, MS&AD Insurance Group is advancing almost 6 percent and CyberAgent is gaining almost 5 percent, while Z Holdings and Dai-ichi Life are adding more than 4 percent each. T&D Holdings is up more than 3 percent, while Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Japan Exchange Group, Kao and Shiseido are rising almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, JGC Holdings is losing almost 4 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid-127 yen-range on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks experienced another extremely volatile session during trading on Friday, with the major averages once again showing wild swings as the day progressed. The major averages pulled back sharply after failing to sustain an early upward move but staged a significant recovery attempt going into the close.

After plunging more than 600 points at its worst levels, the Dow edged up 8.77 points or less than tenth of a percent to 31,261.90. The S&P 500 also ended the day roughly flat, inching up 0.57 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 3,901.36, while the Nasdaq dipped 33.88 points or 0.3 percent to 11,354.62.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day but closed well off their best levels. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index shot up by 1.2 percent, the German DAX Index climbed by 0.7 percent and the French CAC 40 Index edged up by 0.2 percent.

Crude oil futures settled higher on Friday, lifted by the proposed ban on Russian oil by the EU and the relaxation of Covid lockdowns in China. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July added $0.39 or 0.4 percent at $110.28 a barrel.

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