(RTTNews) – The Japanese stock market is declining on Friday following the lackluster cues overnight from Wall Street and as investors digested a raft of local economic data, including Japan’s second-quarter GDP figures that were revised downwards.
In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 50.26 points or 0.26 percent to 19,346.26, off a low of 19,294.80 earlier.
Among the major exporters, Canon is down 1 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is losing 0.6 percent and Panasonic is declining 0.5 percent, while Sony is advancing 1 percent.
The Nikkei Asian Review reported that Apple is now being wooed by all three bidding groups that are vying for Toshiba’s flash memory unit. This includes a consortium having Western Digital as a member.
Among automakers, Toyota is adding 0.3 percent, while Honda is down 0.2 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are lower by 0.4 percent each.
In the oil space, Inpex is declining 0.5 percent and Japan Petroleum Exploration is lower by almost 1 percent after crude oil prices edged lower overnight.
Among the other major gainers, Chughai Pharmaceutical and Tokai Carbon are rising almost 3 percent each, while Dentsu is advancing more than 2 percent. On the flip side, Yamato Holdings and Olympus are losing almost 3 percent each.
In economic news, the Cabinet Office said that Japan’s gross domestic product was revised down to 0.6 percent on quarter in the second quarter of 2017.
That missed forecasts for 0.7 percent and was down from the August 13 preliminary reading that suggested a gain of 1.0 percent. GDP was up 0.4 percent on quarter in the previous three months.
The Ministry of Finance said that Japan had a current account surplus of 2,320.0 billion yen in July, up 19.6 percent on year. The headline figure topped expectations for a surplus of 2,030.1 billion yen and was up from the 934.6 billion yen surplus in June.
The trade surplus came in at 566.6 billion yen, exceeding expectations for 518.0 billion yen and up from 518.5 billion yen in the previous month.
The Bank of Japan said that overall bank lending in Japan was up 3.2 percent on year in August, coming in at 515.802 trillion yen. That was shy of expectations for 3.3 percent, which would have been unchanged from the July reading.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 108 yen-range on Friday.
On Wall Street, stocks closed flat in choppy trading on Thursday after the European Central Bank kept interest rates unchanged and confirmed that its net asset purchases are intended to run at the current monthly pace of 60 billion euros until the end of December, or beyond, if necessary.
While the Nasdaq inched up 4.55 points or 0.1 percent to 6,397.87, the Dow dipped 22.86 points or 0.1 percent to 21,784.78 and the S&P 500 edged down 0.44 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 2,465.10.
The major European markets all moved to the upside on Thursday. While the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.3 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index climbed by 0.6 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.
Crude oil futures inched lower Thursday, but held above $49 a barrel after government data confirmed a large build in U.S. oil inventories. October WTI oil edged down $0.07 or 0.1 percent to settle at $49.09 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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