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Japanese Market Drifts Lower On Wall Street Lead, Stronger Yen

The Japanese market is trading notably lower on Monday with investors pressing sales almost across the board, following a weak lead from Wall Street. The yen's surge against the euro is also contributing to the weakness in the market. Risk aversion intensified as traders await the key retail sales report and the results of the New York Federal Reserve's manufacturing survey due for release later in the global trading day.

Banking, automobile, real estate, steel, non-ferrous metals and chemicals stocks are mostly down in negative territory. Electric power, mining and transport stocks are trading mixed.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which declined to 9,483.5, is currently trading at 9,514.3, down 123.7 points or 1.3 percent from its previous close.

Advantest Corp shares are down nearly 5 percent. Sumco Corp, JGC Corp, Chiyoda, Taiyo Yuden, Konami Corp and Kawasaki Kisen are down 3 to 4 percent.

Credit Saison, Ricoh, T&D Holdings, Nippon Yusen KK, Trend Micro, Yokogawa Electric, Mitsubishi Corp, Toho Zinc, Sumitomo Chemicals and Softbank are all trading lower by over 2 percent.

Among bank stocks, Shinsei Bank, Aozora Bank, SMFG, Mizuho Financial Group and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial are down 2.2 to 2.8 percent. Bank of Yokohama and Chiba Bank are also trading notably lower, while Shizuoka Bank is trading flat.

In the automobile space, Isuzu Motors, Hino Motor, Mitsubishi Motor, Nissan Motor and Honda Motor are trading lower by 1 to 2 percent, while Mazda Motor, Suzuki Motor and Toyota Motor are down 0.6 to 0.8 percent.

Among the gainers in the Nikkei index, Sharp Corp. is up more than 2.5 percent. Nippon Steel is trading nearly 2 percent up on reports the company's pretax profit for the January - March quarter saw a sharp jump.

Nippon Steel, Obayashi Corp, Sumitomo Metal Industries, Minebea, Nisshin Steel, Kobe Steel, Oki Electric Industry, JFE Holdings and Nippon Paper Group are up 0.7 to 1.5 percent.

Japan Nationwide department store sales for March is the sole noteworthy Main Street data point for the day. Sales fell 0.4 percent year-over-year in February.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the upper 80 yen range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 80.94 to the U.S. dollar. The euro fell to a two-month low against the yen as it tumbled to 105.29.

by RTT Staff Writer

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