Japanese Market Rises

The Japanese stock market is rising on Monday as the yen weakened on news of a potential snap election in Japan as well as a plan by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to compile a nearly $18 billion stimulus package by the end of this year.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 97.77 points or 0.48 percent to 20,394.22, off a high of 20,454.29 earlier.

The major exporters are mostly higher despite a weaker yen. Mitsubishi Electric is advancing almost 1 percent, Canon is up 0.6 percent and Sony is adding 0.2 percent, while Panasonic is down almost 1 percent.

Among automakers, Toyota is adding 0.5 percent and Honda is edging up less than 0.1 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is losing almost 1 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is down 0.3 percent.

In the oil space, Inpex is declining 0.2 percent, while Japan Petroleum Exploration is rising more than 1 percent.

Among the best performers, NSK is rising almost 4 percent, while Shiseido Co., Mitsubishi Motors and Yahoo Japan are adding more than 3 percent each.

On the flip side, Minebea Mitsumi, Shinsei Bank and Sompo Holdings are losing almost 2 percent each.

In economic news, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed that the manufacturing sector in Japan continued to expand in September, and at a faster rate, with a four-month high manufacturing PMI score of 52.6. That’s up from 52.2 in August, and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

Japan also will see final July readings for its leading and coincident indexes today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 112 yen-range on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed on Friday, reflecting geopolitical concerns amid an escalating war of words between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump. Nonetheless, overall trading activity was somewhat subdued amid a relatively quiet day on the U.S. economic front.

While the Dow edged down 9.64 points or 22.349.59, the Nasdaq inched up 4.23 points or 0.1 percent to 6,426.92 and the S&P 500 crept up 1.62 points or 0.1 percent to 2,502.22.

The major European markets turned in a mixed performance on Friday. While the German DAX Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.6 percent.

Crude oil prices inched higher Friday, preserving weekly gains as OPEC met in Vienna to discuss output cuts. November oil rose $0.11…

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