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Japanese Market Up Sharply

The Japanese stock market opened on a buoyant note on Friday with the overnight strong close on Wall Street on some upbeat economic data triggering hectic buying across the board. The greenback's surge against the yen and hectic bargain hunting after the previous session's terrible setback too contributed to the rousing start.

Automobile, banking, chemicals, electric machinery, retail, construction and foods stocks opened notably higher and are still mostly trading in positive territory with strong gains.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which rose to 12,889.5 in early trades, is currently at 12,758, up 312.6 points or 2.5 percent from its previous close.

JTEKT Corp., up 7.3 percent, is the biggest gainer in the Nikkei index. Trend Micro is trading 6.8 percent up. Minebea, Showa Shell Sekiyu KK, Marui Group, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Seven & I Holdings, Advantest Corp. (ATE), Mitsubishi Estate, Kansai Electric Power, Astellas Pharma, Dainippon Screen Manufacturing and Daiwa House Industry are all trading higher by 4 to 6 percent.

Casio Computer, Nissan Chemical Industries, Sumitomo Realty & Development, Fuji Electric, Tokyu Land, J Front Retailing, Takshimaya and Japan Tobacco are trading higher by over 3 percent.

Automobile stocks Suzuki Motor, Mazda Motor, Mitsubishi Motors, Isuzu Motors, Nissan Motor and Toyota Motor (TM) are trading higher by 1 to 3 percent.

In the banking space, Bank of Yokohama and Shinsei Bank are trading higher by over 2.5 percent. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group is up by about 1 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (MTU) is trading modestly higher, while Mizuho Financial Group (MFG) is trading weak.

Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, Ube Industries, Nippon Sheet Glass, Nisshin Steel Holdings and Showa Denko KK are down in negative territory, losing 0.8 to 2.8 percent.

Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet has endorsed its growth strategy, aiming to end nearly two decades of deflation by beefing up private-sector investment and rebuilding businesses.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the mid-95 yen range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 94.69 to the U.S. dollar.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore are up with strong gains. New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan are trading modestly higher, while Shanghai is up marginally.

On Wall Street, the major averages ended sharply higher on Thursday, as bargain hunting after recent heavy losses and a positive reaction to the latest batch of economic data lifted stocks.

The Dow surged up 180.9 points or 1.2 percent to 15,176.1, the Nasdaq jumped 44.9 points or 1.3 percent to 3,445.4 and the S&P 500 soared 23.8 points or 1.5 percent to 1,636.4.

Major European markets turned in a mixed performance on Thursday. While the German DAX index ended down by 0.6 percent, the French CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index both edged up by 0.1 percent.

U.S. crude oil prices surged higher as some upbeat economic data stoked hopes for stronger demand for oil. Crude for July delivery ended up 81 cents at $96.69 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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