Japanese Market Declines On Wall Street Cues, Stronger Yen

By RTT News, 
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(RTTNews.com) - The Japanese stock market is trading lower on Friday, hurt by the overnight weakness in the U.S. and European markets amid renewed worries about the financial situation in Portugal. A slightly stronger yen is also contributing to the weakness in the market.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index is down 45.7 points or 0.3 percent at 15,170.8, after declining to around 15,101.5 in early trades, hitting a two-week low.

Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. shares are down 2.4 percent after Mitsui & Co. pared its stake in the shipbuilder.

Fast Retailing Co. shares are lower by about 0.6 percent following the company cutting its annual profit forecast.

Shinsei Bank is declining 2.7 percent. Dai-ichi Life Insurance, Tosoh Corp., Nippon Sheet Glass, Tokyo Tatemono, Unitika and Hitachi Zosen are lower by 2 to 2.4 percent.

T&D Holdings, Chubu Electric Power and Nippon Light Metal Holdings are losing nearly 2 percent. Nisshin Steel, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings, Chiba Bank, Bank of Yokohama, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MTU), Fanuk Corp., Kansai Electric Power and Yahoo Japan are also notably lower.

Nippon Express Co. shares are down marginally. The company is likely to post a 20 percent jump in April - June group operating profit at 10 billion yen.

Meanwhile, Canon Inc. (CAJ) is rising 2.3 percent on a likely 10 percent rise in April - June operating profit to 110 billion yen on strong copier sales.

NH Foods is up nearly 3 percent. Shionogi & Co. and Trend Micro are moving up 2.5 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp., Minebea Co., Inpex Corp., Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Mitsubishi Motors and Kajima Corp. are adding 1 to 1.5 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the lower 101 yen range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 101.31 to the U.S. dollar, against Thursday's close of 101.52 yen per dollar.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia and Singapore are trading modestly higher. Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taiwan are up marginally, while Malaysia, New Zealand and South Korea are notably lower.

On Wall Street, stocks ended lower, despite staging a recovery of sorts after a sharp setback early on. Renewed worries about the financial situation in Europe triggered the early sell-off. Concerns about the prospect of the Federal Reserve raising interest rate sooner than anticipated also weighed on the markets following the release of upbeat jobs data.

The Dow declined 70.5 points or 0.4 percent to 16,915.1, the Nasdaq slid 22.8 points or 0.5 percent to 4,396.2 and the S&P 500 dropped 8.2 points or 0.4 percent to 1,964.7.

Major European markets too closed notably lower on Thursday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index lost 0.7 percent, the French CAC 40 index and the German DAX index tumbled by 1.3 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

U.S. crude oil snapped a nine-day loss to end higher on Thursday, on bargain hunting and after data from the U.S. showed initial claims for unemployment benefits to have declined more than expected last week.

Crude oil futures for August delivery ended up $0.64 or 0.6 percent at $102.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after declining to a low of $101.55 a barrel intraday.

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