Japanese Market Slightly Higher

The Japanese stock market is slightly higher on Monday, recouping some of the losses in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 27,800 level, following the mixed cues from Wall Street on Friday, as traders remain concerned about the outlook for interest rates following data that showed stronger-than-expected US jobs data.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is up 34.81 or 0.13 percent at 27,812.71, after touching a high of 27,854.11 and a low of 27,700.86 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply lower on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging down 0.5 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is gaining more than 2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is losing almost 1 percent and Toyota is declining more than 1 percent.

In the tech space, Screen Holdings and Advantest are edging down 0.2 to 0.3 percent each, while Tokyo Electron is edging up 0.1 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mizuho Financial are losing more than 1 percent each, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is edging down 0.4 percent.

The major exporters are mostly lower, with Canon and Panasonic losing almost 1 percent each, while Sony and Mitsubishi Electric are edging up 0.1 to 0.3 percent each.

Among the other major gainers, JFE Holdings and Eisai are gaining almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Resona Holdings is losing almost 4 percent and Tokyo Electric Power is declining more than 3 percent, while Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Nissan Motor and Chubu Electric Power are down almost 3 percent each.

In economic news, the services sector in Japan continued to expand in November, albeit at a slower rate, the latest survey from Jibun Bank revealed on Monday with a PMI score of 50.3. That's down from 53.2 in October, although it remains above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. The survey also showed that the composite PMI fell into contraction at 48.9, down from 51.8 a month earlier.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 134 yen-range on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks showed a notable turnaround over the course of the trading day on Friday after coming under pressure early in the session. The major averages climbed well off their early lows, eventually ending the session mixed.

While the Dow inched up 34.87 points or 0.1 percent to 34,429.88, the Nasdaq dipped 20.95 points or 0.2 percent to 11,461.50 and the S&P 500 edged down 4.87 points or 0.1 percent to 4,071.70.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the downside on the day. While German DAX Index closed just below the unchanged line, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures slumped on Friday ahead of OPEC's meeting over the weekend and the European Unio's cap on Russian crude. West Texas Intermediate shed 1.24 or 1.5 percent to $79.98 per barrel.

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