Japanese Market Notably Higher

The Japanese stock market is notably higher on Wednesday, extending the gains in the previous two sessions, with the Nikkei 225 moving above the 27,600 level, despite the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, with gains across most sectors, led by commodity-linked stocks amid a spite in commodity prices.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is up 136.37 or 0.50 percent at 27,654.30, after touching a high of 27,689.10 earlier. Japanese stocks ended slightly higher on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is gaining more than 5 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging up 0.5 percent. Among automakers, Honda is gaining almost 2 percent and Toyota is adding almost 1 percent.

In the tech space, Screen Holdings is losing almost 2 percent, Advantest is down almost 1 percent and Tokyo Electron is slipping more than 1 percent.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial are edging up 0.2 percent each, while Mizuho Financial is flat.

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

Among the other major gainers, J. Front Retailing is gaining 3.5 percent, while Isetan Mitsukoshi, Chiba Bank and UBE Corp. are adding almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, there are no other major losers.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 131 yen-range on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, stocks moved mostly lower over the course of the trading day on Tuesday after turning in a lackluster performance early in the session. The major averages all moved to the downside after ending Monday's trading mixed.

The major averages climbed off their worst levels going into the close but remained in the red. While the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 52.76 points or 0.5 percent to 11,716.08, the S&P 500 dipped 6.26 points or 0.2 percent to 3,971.27 and the Dow edged down 37.83 points or 0.1 percent to 32,394.25.

Meanwhile, the major European markets saw modest strength on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index crept up by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both inched up by 0.1 percent.

Crude oil prices climbed higher Tuesday on easing concerns about global banking sector woes, lifting the most active oil futures contract to a two-week closing high. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended higher by $0.39 or 0.5 percent at $73.20 a barrel.

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