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Japanese Market Trades Modestly Lower

The Japanese stock market is market is trading modestly lower on Wednesday with investors pressing sales at some key counters amid concerns about a slowdown in China's economic growth. Profit taking after recent gains is also contributing to the weakness in the market.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which tumbled to 10,086.6 in early trades, is currently down 31.8 points or 0.3 percent at 10,110.2.

Kansai Electric Power, Ube Industries, Nissan Motor, JFE Holdings and Nippon Steel are down 2 to 2.5 percent.

Marubeni Corp., Tokyo Electric Power, Sumitomo Metal Mining, Inpex Corp, Sumitomo Metal Industries, Olympus Corp, Komatsu, Fujitsu, Sony Corp. and Chubu Electric Power are down by over 1.5 percent.

Shares of Mitsubishi Corp. are down more than 1.5 percent following a significant decline in prices of commodities. Nippon Light Metals, Ricoh, Mitsui & Co., Suzuki Motor, Mitsui OSK Lines, Bridgestone Corp, Bank of Yokohama, Japan Tobacco and Honda Motor are also trading notably lower.

Advantest Corp. shares are up more than 5 percent following BNP Paribas SA raising its rating on the semiconductor industry.

Sumco Corp is trading higher by 4.8 percent. Matsui Securities, Credit Saison, Konami Corp, NTT Data Corp, Sumitomo Osaka Cement, Mitsumi Electric, Mizuho Financial Group, Toshiba Corp, Oki Electric and Mitsubishi Motors are up 1 to 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the upper 83 yen-level in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 83.62 to the dollar. The euro hit a 4.5 month high against the Japanese currency as it touched 110.88 yen in early trades.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and South Korea are trading weak. Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taiwan are up with notable gains, while Singapore is up marginally. Markets across the region ended mostly lower on Tuesday.

On Wall Street, stocks ended lower on Tuesday with traders expressing renewed concerns about the outlook for the global economy. However, the markets ended the session well off their worst levels of the day, as selling pressure waned after an early downward move.

The Dow ended down 68.9 points or 0.5 percent at 13,170.2, the Nasdaq edged down 4.2 points or 0.1 percent to 3,074.1 and the S&P 500 slipped 4.2 points or 0.3 percent to 1,405.5.

Major European markets too ended weak on Tuesday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index slid by 1.2 percent, the French CAC 40 index and the German DAX index tumbled by 1.3 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

U.S. crude oil futures settled lower on Tuesday, amid concerns over demand growth after Saudi Arabia assured enough supplies to stabilize the market, while China hiked retail oil prices fueling worries of a economic slowdown.

Crude for April delivery dropped $2.48 or 2.3 percent to close at $105.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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