RTTNews - The Japanese stock market is trading higher on Monday, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index touching the 9,600 level in the morning session. Banking and oil stocks are trading higher.

In mid-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is gaining 90.46 points or 0.95% to 9,612.96 and the broader Topix Index of all First Section issues is adding 8.50 points or 0.95% to 906.41.

The Japanese market closed higher on Friday after better-than-expected industrial output data raised hopes that export revival might help the country come out of recession. The Nikkei 225 index closed at 9522, representing a gain of 71.11 points, or 0.75%, while the Topix Index edged up 2.32 points, or 0.26%, to close at 898.

U.S. stocks saw some further upside over the course of the trading day on Friday, helped by better than expected economic data. A late-session rally helped the major averages to finish the month of May on a high note, further building on recent gains.

Oil rallied to a six-month high on Friday and capped its biggest monthly gain in a decade. Prices are on the rise in recent weeks with hopes improving for energy demand. Light sweet crude for July delivery settled at $66.31 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up $1.23 on the session.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar was trading in the upper 94 yen-range on Monday. In early trades, the dollar was quoted in a range of 94.82-94.87 yen, down 1.62 yen from Friday's close of 96.44-96.46 yen in Tokyo.

Banking stocks are mostly trading higher. Mitsubishi UFJ is advancing 1.67%, Mizuho Financial is adding 1.32% and Resona Holdings is up 0.42%, while Sumitomo Mitsui is unchanged. Brokerage Nomura Holdings is gaining 1.12%.

Among automakers, Honda is down 0.91%, Toyota is losing 0.52% and Suzuki is declining 0.94%. Among exporters, Canon is down 1.27%, while Sharp is up 0.83% and Sony is adding 1.20%.

In the oil sector, Inpex is up 4.02%, Nippon Oil is rising 2.41% and Showa Shell is adding 1.49%. Trading house Itochu is up 3.63%, Marubeni is gaining 5.80% and Sojitz is advancing 5.26%.

Shipping stocks are trading higher after the Baltic Dry Index rose to an eight-month high on Friday. Nippon Yusen is up 4.61%, Kawasaki Kisen is gaining 6.5% and Mitsui OSK is advancing 4.29%.

Shares of ITX Corp. were bid-only. The company said Friday that it plans to acquire the mobile phone sales divisions of Panasonic Telecom and Sony's subsidiary Sony Marketing Japan Inc.

Shares of Sumitomo Metal Mining are up 5.71% and Mitsui Mining & Smelting is gaining 8.04%. The companies announced Friday that they have reached a basic agreement to integrate their copper and brass operations under a new entity in April.

Apartment developer Joint Corp. filed for creditor protection with the Tokyo District on Friday. The company's shares are untraded Monday. Meanwhile, Orix, the holder of a 39% stake in Joint Corp., said it may book a loss on an investment of 10.7 billion yen that it made in Joint and related firms. The company's shares are down 1.67%.

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