Japanese Market Modestly Higher

The Japanese stock market is modestly higher on Thursday, extending the gains in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 just below the 27,900 level, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, boosted by strength in technology stocks, which mirrored their peers on the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is up 154.06 points or 0.56 percent to 27,895.96, after touching a high of 28,005.59 earlier. Japanese stocks closed modestly higher on Wednesday.

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

In the tech space, Screen Holdings is gaining almost 3 percent, Advantest is adding more than 3 percent and Tokyo Electron is up 3.5 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is losing more than 1 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mizuho Financial are edging down 0.1 to 0.3 percent each.

Among the major exporters, Canon is gaining almost 1 percent, while Panasonic and Sony are edging up 0.1 to 0.4 percent each. Mitsubishi Electric is losing almost 1 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Casio Computer is surging more than 7 percent, Subaru is gaining almost 7 percent and Sumitomo Electric Industries is adding almost 6 percent, while CyberAgent, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha are up almost 4 percent each. Keio and Daiichi Sankyo are advancing more than 3 percent each.

Conversely, Z Holdings is plummeting more than 12 percent, while Orix, JFE Holdings, Kubota, Mitsubishi Chemical Group and Taiyo Yuden are losing almost 5 percent each. Hitachi Zosen, NTN and Nippon Express Holdings are down more than 3 percent each, while Concordia Financial Group, Concordia Financial Group, Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Kobe Steel, Nomura Holdings, Tokyo Electric Power and Nichirei are slipping almost 3 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 133 yen-range on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks moved sharply higher during trading on Wednesday, offsetting the pullback seen over the two previous sessions. The rally lifted the tech-heavy Nasdaq to a three-month closing high, while the S&P 500 reached its best closing level in almost two months.

The major averages pulled back off their highs going into the close but held on to strong gains. While the Nasdaq spiked 319.40 points or 2.6 percent to 12,668.16, the S&P 500 surged 63.98 points or 1.6 percent to 4,155.17 and the Dow jumped 416.33 points or 1.3 percent to 32,812.50.

The major European markets all also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index climbed by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index both jumped by 1.0 percent.

Crude oil prices fell sharply Wednesday after data showed an unexpected surge in U.S. crude inventories last week. The dollar's strength after hawkish comments from a few Fed officials also weighed on oil prices.

Also, OPEC+ agreed to a tiny increase in output next month amid fears that a global recession will crimp demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude futures for September sank $3.76 or 4 percent at $90.66 a barrel.

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