The Japanese stock market is trading lower on Wednesday, tracking the overnight losses on Wall Street and on profit-taking after four days of gains. Investors preferred to remain on the sidelines ahead of the outcome of the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee Meeting later in the day.
In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 112.01 points or 1.29 percent to 8,583.05.
Among exporters, Advantest Corp. (ATE: Quote) is down 2.98 percent, Canon Inc. (CAJ: Quote) is trading lower by 0.42 percent, Sony Corp. (SNE: Quote,SON.L) is losing 3.01 percent and Hitachi Ltd. is declining 1.72 percent.
Komatsu Ltd. is trading lower by more than 9 percent after the construction machinery maker cut its group earnings forecast for the year through March 2013 on Tuesday. The company lowered its operating profit outlook for the year by 53 billion yen to 262 billion yen, but up 2 percent from the previous year.
Panasonic Corp. (PC: Quote) on Tuesday reported a group net profit of 12.8 billion yen for the April-June quarter, compared to net loss of 30.3 billion yen in the year-ago period. The consumer electronics maker maintained its net profit forecast of 50 billion yen for the full year through March 2013. The company's shares are gaining more than 5 percent.
Among automakers, Toyota Motor (TM: Quote,TYT.L) is trading lower by 0.66 percent, Nissan Motor is declining 2.15 percent and Suzuki is losing 2.08 percent.
Honda Motor (HMC: Quote) maintained its fiscal 2012 earnings outlook despite reporting a sharp increase in group net profit for the quarter through June, to 131.7 billion yen. The company's stock is down 5.61 percent.
Softbank is gaining more than 4 percent after the mobile carrier said Tuesday that it recorded a 20 percent increase in group pretax profit for the April-June quarter to 180.9 billion yen.
Brokerage Nomura Holdings (NMR: Quote) is trading lower by almost 3 percent. On Tuesday, the the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission concluded its investigation into Nomura's handling of insider information about its corporate clients. The commission referred the case to the Financial Services Agency for administrative action.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 77 yen range ahead of the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting later on Wednesday. In late-morning trades, the dollar was trading at 77.96-77.98, down 0.31 yen from Tuesday's close of 78.27-78.28 yen in Tokyo.
On Wall Street, stocks moved moderately lower over the course of the trading day on Tuesday While selling pressure remained relatively subdued. Uncertainty ahead of monetary policy decisions from both sides of the Atlantic contributed to the weakness on Wall Street.
The Dow fell 64.33 points or 0.5 percent to finish at 13,008.68, while the Nasdaq slipped 6.32 points or 0.2 percent to end at 2,939.52 and the S&P 500 dropped 5.98 points or 0.4 percent to 1,379.32.
The major European markets also moved lower on Tuesday as the DAX of German rose by 0.15 percent, but the CAC 40 of France finished down by 0.87 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. fell by 0.81 percent and the SMI of Switzerland decreased by 0.05 percent.
U.S. crude oil ended significantly lower Tuesday, as investor await cues from the much anticipated European Central Bank and Federal Reserve policy meeting this week. Nevertheless, oil prices pared some of the losses after news reports that the U.S. slapped Iran with additional sanctions over its nuclear development program.
Crude for September delivery dropped $1.72 or 1.9 percent to close at $88.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Tuesday.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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