Japanese Market Declines

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(RTTNews.com) - The Japanese stock market is declining on Thursday following the negative cues overnight from Wall Street. Investors also turned cautious as they focused on Japanese corporate earnings results.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 149.92 points or 0.72 percent to 20,724.14, after touching a low of 20,665.51 earlier. Japanese shares edged higher on Wednesday.

The major exporters are mostly lower despite a weaker yen. Panasonic is losing more than 3 percent, Sony is declining almost 2 percent and Canon is down almost 1 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric is edging up 0.1 percent.

In the tech sector, Advantest is declining more than 1 percent, while Tokyo Electron is advancing almost 1 percent. Among the major automakers, Toyota is losing almost 3 percent, extending losses from the previous session on weak third-quarter results, while Honda is down more than 1 percent.

In the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is lower by almost 1 percent, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is declining almost 3 percent. In the oil space, Japan Petroleum is lower by almost 2 percent and Inpex is losing more than 2 percent even as crude oil prices rebounded overnight.

Among the other major gainers, SoftBank Group is gaining almost 17 percent after the company reported a nearly 19 percent increase in its nine-month profit and also announced a share buyback of up to 600 billion yen.

Mazda Motor is rising more than 8 percent on its upbeat full-year outlook, while Furukawa Electric is higher by more than 7 percent.

On the flip side, Mitsubishi Chemical is losing more than 6 percent, while Cyberagent and Toyota Tsusho are declining more than 4 percent each.

On the economic front, Japan will provide preliminary December results for its leading and coincident indexes today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 109 yen-range on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed modestly lower Wednesday on profit taking, although selling pressure was subdued amid uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets. Ambiguity about trade talks between the U.S. and China continued to hang over the markets, as President Donald Trump's State of the Union address last night lacked details on progress in the talks.

The Dow edged down 21.22 points or 0.1 percent to 25,390.30, the Nasdaq fell 26.80 points or 0.4 percent to 7,375.28 and the S&P 500 slipped 6.09 points or 0.2 percent to 2,731.61.

The major European markets also closed modestly lower on Wednesday. While the German DAX Index fell by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'sFTSE 100 Index both edged down by 0.1 percent.

Crude oil prices rebounded from early weakness to end modestly higher on Wednesday, despite data showing an increase in U.S. crude stockpiles. WTI crude oil futures for March ended up $0.35 or 0.7 percent at $54.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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This article appears in: Stocks , World Markets , Banking and Loans , Oil

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