(RTTNews) - The Japanese stock market is modestly lower on Wednesday following the negative cues overnight from Wall Street amid caution ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision due later today and the Bank of Japan's policy announcement due on Thursday.
A report from Reuters suggesting a phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China may not be signed by a summit in Chile next month dampened sentiment.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 72.04 points or 0.31 percent to 22,902.09, after touching a low of 22,856.86 in early trades. Japanese shares hit their highest level in more than a year on Tuesday.
The major exporters are mostly lower on a stronger yen. Panasonic is declining more than 1 percent, while Sony and Mitsubishi Electric are down almost 1 percent each. Canon is rising more than 1 percent.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is lower by 0.3 percent, while Fast Retailing is losing almost 2 percent.
Among auto stocks, Toyota Motor is down 0.7 percent and Honda Motor is lower by 0.2 percent. In the tech space, Tokyo Electron is lower by more than 2 percent and Advantest is declining more than 1 percent.
In the oil sector, Inpex is down more than 1 percent and Japan Petroleum is lower by 0.3 percent after crude oil prices declined overnight.
Among the major gainers, Nisshin Seifun Group is gaining more than 8 percent, Fujitsu is rising more than 5 percent and Shiseido Co. is higher by more than 3 percent.
On the flip side, NEC Corp. is losing more than 5 percent, while Omron Corp., Nippon Electric Glass and Kobe Steel are all lower by more than 4 percent.
In economic news, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said that retail sales in Japan climbed 9.1 percent on year in September, exceeding expectations for an increase of 6.0 percent following the 1.8 percent gain in August.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 108 yen-range on Wednesday.
On Wall Street, stocks closed lower in choppy trading on Tuesday as traders seemed reluctant to make significant moves ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement on Wednesday. Some negative sentiment was generated by a report from Reuters suggesting a phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China may not be signed by a summit in Chile next month. Selling pressure remained subdued, however, as a U.S. administration official noted a failure to sign the deal by the summit just means more time is needed.
The S&P 500 edged down 2.53 points or 0.1 percent to 3,036.89, the Dow dipped 19.26 points or 0.1 percent to 27,071.46 and the Nasdaq slid 49.13 points or 0.6 percent to 8,276.85.
The major European markets turned mixed on Tuesday. While the French CAC 40 Index inched up by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index closed just below the unchanged and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.3 percent.
Crude oil futures edged lower on Tuesday amid expectations official data from Energy Information Administration or EIA will likely show a notable jump in crude inventories last week. WTI crude for December delivery dipped $0.27 or about 0.5 percent to $55.54 a barrel.
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