Japanese Market Slightly Lower

(RTTNews) - Extending the losses in the previous three sessions, the Japanese market is slightly lower on Thursday, following the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight. The Nikkei 225 is staying below the 38,000 mark, with losses in index heavyweights nearly offset by gains in technology and financial stocks.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 12.84 points or 0.03 percent to 37,948.96, after hitting a low of 37,644.91 earlier. Japanese shares ended sharply lower on Wednesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing more than 3 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is flat. Among automakers, Toyota is edging down 0.1 percent and Honda is also edging down 0.4 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining more than 2 percent and Screen Holdings is adding almost 1 percent, while Tokyo Electron is losing more than 1 percent.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging up 0.2 percent, Mizuho Financial is gaining more than 1 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is advancing 1.5 percent.

Among the major exporters, Canon is edging up 0.3 percent, Sony is gaining almost 1 percent and Panasonic is adding almost 2 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric is edging down 0.4 percent.

Among other major losers, FUJIFILM is losing more than 4 percent, while Inpex and IHI are declining more than 3 percent each.

Conversely, Sumitomo Pharma is gaining almost 4 percent and Japan Airlines is adding almost 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 154 yen-range on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Wednesday before eventually ending the day mostly lower. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 extended their losing streaks to four days, falling to their lowest closing levels in nearly two months.

The major averages all finished the day red, although the Dow posted a relatively modest loss, edging down 45.66 points or 0.1 percent to 37,753.31. The S&P 500 slid 29.20 points or 0.6 percent to 5,022.21 and the Nasdaq tumbled 181.88 points or 1.2 percent to 15,683.37.

Meanwhile, the major European markets gave back ground after an early rally but still closed mostly higher. While the French CAC 40 Index climbed by 0.6 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.4 percent and the German DAX Index close just above the unchanged line.

Crude oil prices tumbled on Wednesday, adding to modest losses in the two previous sessions after data showed a surge in U.S. crude oil inventories. West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery plunged $2.67 or 3.1 percent to $82.69 a barrel.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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