(RTTNews.com) - The Japanese stock market is declining on Tuesday amid the fall in crude oil prices and the prospects of fresh elections in Italy. In addition, a stronger yen weighed on exporters' shares. Overnight, the U.S. and UK markets were closed for public holidays.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 160.14 points or 0.71 percent to 22,320.95, off a low of 22,291.68 earlier.
Among the major exporters, Mitsubishi Electric is declining 0.4 percent and Panasonic is down 0.5 percent, while Canon and Sony are edging up less than 0.1 percent each.
Automaker Toyota is declining almost 1 percent and Honda is lower by 0.2 percent. Nissan Motor's shares are down 0.1 percent after the Nikkei business daily reported that the company plans to cut its North American production by up to 20 percent.
In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is declining more than 1 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is down almost 1 percent.
Among oil stocks, Inpex is adding 0.2 percent, while Japan Petroleum Exploration is losing more than 3 percent after crude oil prices fell overnight.
Among the market's best performers, Tokai Carbon is gaining 7 percent, while NEC Corp. is rising almost 2 percent.
On the flip side, Nippon Paper Industries is declining more than 7 percent and Minebea Mitsumi is losing more than 5 percent. Ricoh Co. and Sumitomo Metal Mining are lower by more than 3 percent each.
In economic news, the Ministry of Communications and Internal Affairs said that the unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.5 percent in April. That was in line with expectations and unchanged from the March reading.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the 109 yen-range on Tuesday.
The U.S. stock markets were closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.
European stocks rose modestly on Monday on revived hopes of a U.S.-North Korea summit and the prospects of fresh elections in Italy. The German DAX and France's CAC 40 rose around 0.2 percent each, while the U.K. market was closed for the spring bank holiday.
Crude oil prices fell on Monday, extending losses from Friday, amid renewed expectations that OPEC will ramp up production. WTI crude tumbled to near $66 a barrel from a four-year peak near $73.
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