Japanese Market Maintains Momentum

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The Japanese stock market is extending gains on Friday from the previous session despite a stronger yen, as the positive cues overnight from Wall Street on tepid inflation data boosted investor sentiment.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is rising 150.97 points or 0.67 percent to 22,648.15, off a high of 22,714.29 in early trades.

In the tech space, Kyocera is up 0.7 percent, while Advantest and Alps Electric are rising more than 1 percent each.

The major exporters are mixed. Panasonic is gaining almost 5 percent following upbeat fiscal 2018 earnings results. Mitsubishi Electric is adding more than 1 percent, while Canon and Sony are edging down less than 0.1 percent each.

Automaker Toyota is down 0.3 percent, while Honda is advancing almost 1 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is lower by 0.4 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is up 0.2 percent.

Oil stocks are also mixed. Inpex is losing more than 3 percent, while Japan Petroleum Exploration is gaining almost 3 percent.

Among the market's best performers, Taiyo Yuden is rising more than 13 percent, Suzuki Motor is gaining almost 7 percent after it reported a 35 percent increase in full-year profit. Marui Group is higher by more than 5 percent.

On the flip side, Toho Zinc is losing more than 6 percent, DeNA Co. is lower by 6 percent and Sapporo Holdings is down more than 5 percent.

In economic news, the Bank of Japan said that the M2 money stock in Japan was up 3.3 percent on year in April, coming in at 1,002.5 trillion yen. That exceeded expectations for an increase of 3.2 percent following the downwardly revised 3.1 percent gain in March.

The M3 money stock was up an annual 2.8 percent to 1,330.6 trillion yen. That was in line with expectations and unchanged from the previous month.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 109 yen-range on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks extended gains on Thursday from the previous session following the release of a Labor Department report showing a slightly smaller than expected increase in consumer prices in the month of April. A separate report from the Labor Department showed initial jobless claims unexpectedly came in unchanged in the week ended May 5th.

The Dow climbed 196.99 points or 0.8 percent to 24,739.53, the Nasdaq jumped 65.07 points or 0.9 percent to 7,404.98 and the S&P 500 advanced 25.28 points or 0.9 percent to 2,723.07.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on Thursday. While the French CAC 40 Index edged up by 0.2 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index climbed by 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures edged higher Thursday, holding most of their recent gains after subdued U.S. inflation data. WTI crude added $0.22 to close at $71.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.