By RTT News, October 03, 2013, 10:11:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - The Japanese stock market opened sharply lower on Friday, with investors indulging in some heavy selling in early trades amid worries about the impact of the partial government shutdown in the U.S. on the global economy. A stronger yen too contributed to the weak start.
Automobile, electric power, textiles, pharmaceuticals and non-ferrous metals stocks are mostly trading notably lower.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which declined to 13,944.3, is currently trading at 14,050.56, down 106.7 points or 0.8 percent from its previous close.
GS Yuasa Corp. is down nearly 6.5 percent. Tokyo Dome, Panasonic Corp. (PC), Mitsubishi Materials Corp., Mitsui Mining & Smelting, Oji Holdings, Tokyo Electric Power, Minebea, Furukawa and Sharp Corp. are trading lower by 3 to 4 percent.
Yokohama Rubber, JFE Holdings, Chubu Electric Power, Citizen Holdings, Toho Zinc, Sumitomo Metal Mining, Sony Corp. ( SNE ), Nippon Sheet Glass, Advantest Corp. ( ATE ), Kobe Steel and Nomura Holdings are all trading lower by over 2 percent.
Among automobile stocks, Hino Motors, Isuzu Motors, Suzuki Motor, Toyota Motor ( TM ), Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors are trading lower by 1.2 to 2.2 percent. Honda Motor ( HMC ) is down 0.8 percent.
Meanwhile, JGC Corp. is trading nearly 6 percent up. Trend Micro is adding 3.7 percent and Dainippon Screen Manufacturing is trading higher by 2.2 percent.
Dai Nippon Printing, Casio Computer, Mitsui Chemicals, Asahi Glass, Chiyoda Corp., Nippon Paper Industries and Seven & I Holdings are also trading notably higher.
On the economic front, the Bank of Japan will conclude its monetary policy meeting later in the day and then announce its decision on interest rates. The central bank is widely expected to keep the nation's benchmark interest rate at the record low of 0 to 0.10 percent. There is also some speculation that the bank may raise its growth forecast.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the lower 97 yen range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 97.18 to the U.S. dollar.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, Hong Kong and South Korea are trading notably lower. New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan are also trading weak, while Malaysia is down marginally.
On Wall Street, stocks ended notably lower on Thursday, amid concerns about the ongoing government shutdown and on the back of a report showing a bigger than expected slowdown in the pace of services sector growth.
The Dow ended lower by 136.7 points or 0.9 percent at 14,996.5, the Nasdaq slid 40.7 points or 1.1 percent to 3,774.3 and the S&P 500 declined 15.2 points or 0.9 percent to 1,678.7.
Major European markets turned in a mixed performance on Thursday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index inched up by 0.2 percent, the German DAX index and the French CAC 40 index ended lower by 0.4 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil ended lower on Thursday, on mixed macroeconomic data with activity in the U.S. service sector declining and uncertainty related to the partial government shutdown. Crude for November delivery declined declined $0.79 or 0.8 percent to close at $103.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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