Japanese Market Modestly Higher

The Japanese stock market is modestly higher on Friday, recouping some of the losses in the previous session, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 staying below the 29,000 mark, following the broadly positive cues from global markets overnight, with gains in exporters and technology stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is gaining 43.56 points or 0.15 percent to 28,985.70, after touching a high of 29,150.80 earlier. Japanese stocks closed significantly lower on Thursday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging down 0.5 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is losing more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining almost 1 percent and Toyota is edging up 0.3 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest and Screen Holdings are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Tokyo Electron is adding almost 2 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is edging down 0.3 percent and Mizuho Financial is losing almost 1 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging up 0.2 percent.

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

Among the other major gainers, Fujikura is surging almost 6 percent, while Pacific Metals and JGC Holdings are gaining more than 3 percent each. Ebara and Nikon are adding almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Trend Micro, Sumitomo Osaka Cement and Nippon Sheet Glass are losing almost 3 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 136 yen-range on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks showed a lack of direction throughout the session on Thursday following the pullback seen during trading on Wednesday. The major averages spent most of the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

The major averages eventually ended the session modestly higher. The Dow inched up 18.72 points or 0.1 percent to 33,999.04, the Nasdaq rose 27.22 points or 0.2 percent to 12,965.34 and the S&P 500 edged up 9.70 points or 0.2 percent to 4,283.74.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.4 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both climbed by 0.5 percent.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Thursday, continuing to benefit from Wednesday's data that showed declines in crude and gasoline inventories in the week ended August 12. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended higher by $2.39 or about 2.7 percent at $90.50 a barrel.

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