Japanese Market Drifts Lower – Markets Insider

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(RTTNews) – The Japanese stock market slipped into negative territory on Wednesday after opening higher as trade tensions between the U.S. and China escalated. The U.S. has published its proposed list of about 1,300 Chinese products that could be hit with tariffs.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 32.27 points or 0.15 percent to 21,260.02, after rising in early trades.

In the tech space, Advantest is losing almost 1 percent and Tokyo Electron is down more than 1 percent.

The major exporters are higher on a weaker yen. Panasonic is gaining almost 3 percent, Sony is rising more than 1 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is adding almost 1 percent and Canon is up 0.3 percent.

Among the major automakers, Toyota is higher by 0.2 percent and Honda is adding more than 1 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are declining more than 1 percent each.

In the oil space, Inpex is down 0.6 percent while Japan Petroleum Exploration is adding 0.3 percent.

Among the market’s best performers, Seiko Epson is rising more than 3 percent, while Nichirei Corp, Isuzu Motors and Pioneer Corp. are all adding more than 2 percent each.

On the flip side, Tokai Carbon is losing more than 15 percent, Showa Denko is lower by more than 13 percent and Tosoh Corp. is down more than 6 percent.

In economic news, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed that Japan’s service sector continued to expand in March, albeit at a slower pace, with a services PMI score of 50.9. That’s down from 51.7 in February, although it remains above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

The report also showed that the composite index sank to 51.3 in March from 52.2 in February.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid 106 yen-range on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, stocks rebounded on Tuesday after the previous session’s sell-off on bargain hunting, as traders picked up stocks at reduced levels. The markets also benefited from a significant rebound by some technology stocks, including electric car maker Tesla.

The Dow soared 389.17 points or 1.7 percent to 24,033.36, the Nasdaq jumped 71.16 points or 1 percent to 6,941.28 and the S&P 500 surged up 32.57 points or 1.3 percent to 2,614.45.

The major European markets moved to the downside on Tuesday. While the German DAX Index slid by 0.8 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index dropped by 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices rose slightly on Tuesday, ahead of U.S. energy inventories data from the American Petroleum Institute. Crude for May delivery climbed $0.50 to $63.51 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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