Japanese Market Loses
(RTTNews) - The Japanese stock market is losing and the safe-haven yen strengthened on Wednesday following the negative cues overnight from Wall Street.
Worries about political uncertainty in the U.S. also dampened sentiment on news that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump. Pelosi accused Trump of a breach of his constitutional responsibilities by calling upon a foreign power to intervene in the upcoming election.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is declining 122.83 points or 0.56 percent to 21,976.01, after touching a low of 21,906.00 earlier. Japanese stocks ended roughly flat on Tuesday as traders returned to their desks after a long holiday weekend.
The major exporters are mostly lower on a stronger yen. Mitsubishi Electric is declining almost 1 percent, Panasonic is lower by 0.5 percent and Canon is down 0.4 percent, while Sony is rising 0.6 percent.
In the tech space, Advantest is down 0.4 percent and Tokyo Electron is declining 0.5 percent. In the auto sector, Toyota Motor is losing almost 2 percent and Honda Motor is lower by 1 percent.
Market heavyweight SoftBank is declining more than 2 percent and Fast Retailing is lower by almost 1 percent.
Among oil stocks, Inpex is declining more than 1 percent and Japan Petroleum is lower by almost 1 percent after crude oil prices fell overnight.
Among the other major gainers, Eisai Co. is rising more than 5 percent and Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is higher by 4 percent. Takeda Pharmaceutical and Chughai Pharmaceutical are advancing more than 2 percent each.
On the flip side, Sumco Corp. and Showa Denko are losing almost 4 percent each, while Minebea Mitsumi, Okuma Corp., Nitto Denko and Tokuyama Corp. are all lower by more than 3 percent each.
On the economic front, members of the Bank of Japan's Monetary Policy board said that the current levels of monetary stimulus currently in place are likely to remain so for an extended period of time, minutes from the central bank's July 30 meeting revealed. The board added that it will continue to expand the monetary base until it has achieved the inflation target of 2 percent with some consistency.
The Bank of Japan said that producer prices in Japan were unchanged in August - in line with expectations following the upwardly revised 0.2 percent increase in July.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 107 yen-range on Wednesday.
On Wall Street, stocks closed lower on Tuesday as early buying interest faded after a Conference Board report showed a substantial deterioration in U.S. consumer confidence in the month of September. Stocks saw further downside amid reports House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is prepared to announce a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, Trump has authorized the release of the transcript of a controversial call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that has renewed Democratic calls for his impeachment.
The Dow fell 142.22 points or 0.5 percent to 26,807.77, the Nasdaq tumbled 118.84 points or 1.5 percent to 7,993.63 and the S&P 500 slid 25.18 points or 0.8 percent to 2,966.60.
The major European markets also moved to the downside on Tuesday. While the French CAC 40 Index closed just below the unchanged line, the German DAX Index dipped by 0.3 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.5 percent.
Crude oil prices drifted down sharply on Tuesday as weak economic data from Asia, Europe and the U.S. raised concerns about near term energy demand. WTI crude for November delivery tumbled $1.35 or 2.3 percent to $57.29 a barrel.