Japanese Market Advances

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The Japanese stock market, which resumed trading on Tuesday following a long weekend, is advancing after U.S. stocks closed higher overnight for a second straight session.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 218.49 points or 1.02 percent to 21,601.11, off a high of 21,660.18 in early trades. The Japanese market was closed on Monday for the National Foundation Day holiday.

The major exporters are mostly higher despite a stronger yen. Mitsubishi Electric is rising more than 2 percent, Panasonic is advancing almost 1 percent and Canon is adding 0.2 percent, while Sony is declining almost 1 percent. SoftBank is gaining almost 3 percent.

Among automakers, Toyota is declining 0.6 percent, while Honda is edging up less than 0.1 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is rising more than 1 percent.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is adding 0.6 percent after the bank agreed to pay $30 million to end U.S. antitrust litigation that alleges it conspired with other banks to rig yen Libor and Euroyen Tibor benchmark rates at the expense of investors.

In the oil space, Inpex is adding almost 1 percent, while Japan Petroleum Exploration is lower by more than 5 percent even as crude oil prices edged higher overnight.

Fujifilm's shares are losing almost 2 percent after billionaire investor and Xerox shareholder Carl Icahn criticized Xerox's plan to sell itself to the Japanese company, saying the transaction "dramatically undervalues Xerox and disproportionately favors Fuji."

Among the market's best performers, Citizen Watch is gaining almost 11 percent, while Chiyoda Corp. and Toray Industries are rising more than 6 percent each.

On the flip side, Pioneer Corp is losing almost 11 percent, Sumitomo Osaka Cement is declining more than 4 percent and Dowa Holdings is lower by almost 4 percent.

In economic news, the Bank of Japan said that producer prices in Japan picked up 0.3 percent on month in January. That was in line with expectations and up from the downwardly revised 0.1 percent gain in December.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 108 yen-range on Tuesday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed higher on Monday as traders continued to pick up stocks at reduced levels following recent weakness. Trading activity remained somewhat subdued, however, with a lack of major U.S. economic data keeping some traders on the sidelines.

The Dow soared 410.37 points or 1.7 percent to 24,601.27, the Nasdaq jumped 107.47 points or 1.6 percent to 6,981.96 and the S&P 500 surged up 34.65 points or 1.4 percent to 2,656.00.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved sharply higher on Monday. While the German DAX Index surged up by 1.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index both jumped by 1.2 percent.

Crude oil futures inched higher Monday, but were unable to hold $60 a barrel despite a rebound for U.S. stocks. WTI crude for March delivery inched up $0.09 or 0.2 percent to $59.29 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.