The Japanese stock market opened higher and is trading in positive territory on Friday morning, taking the cues from Wall Street where the major indices rose for the third consecutive day on expectations that the global economy is showing signs of stabilization.

On Thursday, the Dow closed up 216.48 points or 2.8% at 7,978, the Nasdaq closed up 51.03 points or 3.3% at 1,604 and the S&P 500 closed up 23.30 points or 2.9% at 834.

In Asian trading, Crude oil is currently down $0.49 at $52.15 a barrel in electronic trading. , Light sweet crude for May delivery closed up $4.25 at $52.64 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thursday, after hitting an intra-day low of $48.45 and a high of $52.87, on improved demand prospects amid hopes the G-20 summit will help pull the world out of the economic crisis.

In early morning trading, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index, having opened strongly at 8,814 compared to its previous close of 8,720, is currently trading at 8,765, up 45.43 points, and the broader Topix index of all First Section Issues is gaining 9.85 points to 837.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar was trading in the high 99 yen-range on Friday. In early morning trades, the dollar was quoted in a range of 99.77-99.80 yen, up 0.65 yen from Thursday's close.

Automakers, exporters and financials are leading the gains in the market. Among automakers, Toyota is gaining 6.96% and Honda is rising 3.47%. Exporters are also trading higher on weaker yen. Canon is advancing 2.99%, Sony is surging up 3.23% and Sharp is adding 0.97%.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ is gaining 1.89%, Mizuho Financial is advancing 1.92%, Sumitomo Mitsui is rising 0.80% and Resona Holdings is edging up 0.44%. Brokerage Nomura Holdings is up 3.55%.

Oil stocks are trading mixed. While Inpex is moving up 0.42% and Nippon Oil is gaining 1.18%, Showa Shell is down 1.39%. Meanwhile, trading house Mitsubishi Corp. is rising 2.70%, Sumitomo Corp. is gaining 0.66% and Itochu is edging up 0.19%.

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