By RTT News,
February 25, 2014, 08:55:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - The Japanese stock market is trading in negative territory on Wednesday, tracking the negative lead overnight from Wall Street. In addition, a stronger yen is weighing on export-oriented stocks.
In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is declining 105.84 points or 0.70 percent to 14,945.76, off the day's low of 14,896.49.
In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial ( MTU ) is losing 0.98 percent, Mizuho Financial Group ( MFG ) is down 1.4 percent, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial (SFMG) is declining 1.06 percent.
Among automakers, Toyota Motor (TM) is down 1.1 percent, while Honda Motor ( HMC ) is adding 0.49 percent and Suzuki Motor is advancing 0.44 percent.
Panasonic Corp. and U.S. electric car maker Tesla Motors (TSLA) are in talks to build an automotive battery plant in the U.S., the Nikkei business daily reported Wednesday. The lithium-ion battery plant is reportedly targeted to go onstream in 2017. Shares of Panasonic are gaining 5.4 percent.
Among the other major gainers, NTT Data is adding 2.8 percent, Olympus is advancing 1.9 percent and Kyocera is up 1.5 percent.
Meanwhile, UNY Group is losing 3.3 percent, Tokyo Tatemono is down 2 percent, Sumitomo Electric is declining 1.6 percent and SKY Perfect JSAT Holdings is trading lower by 1.3 percent.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 102 yen-range. The dollar is trading at 102.21 yen, down 0.11 yen from Tuesday's close of 102.32 yen in Tokyo.
On Wall Street, stocks showed a lack of direction throughout much of the trading session on Tuesday before ending the session modestly lower. The lackluster performance came as traders seemed reluctant to make any significant moves following the previous session's gains and ahead of the release of some key economic data later in the week.
The Dow dipped 27.48 points or 0.2 percent to 16,179.66, the Nasdaq edged down 5.38 points or 0.1 percent to 4,287.59 and the S&P 500 slipped 2.49 points or 0.1 percent to 1,845.12.
Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the downside on Tuesday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index dropped by 0.5 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both edged down by 0.1 percent.
U.S. crude oil slipped to end at a two-week low on Tuesday, ahead of the official weekly oil report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration that is forecast to show increased inventories and on concerns of lower demand from China amid fears of economic growth slowdown.
Crude Oil futures for April delivery, the most actively traded contract, shed $0.99 or 1 percent to close at $101.83 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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