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Japanese Market Falters After Positive Start

The Japanese stock market opened higher on Friday with investors indulging in some brisk buying in early trades amid easing worries about the eurozone. However, the market pared some of its early gains and is currently trading slightly below the unchanged line amid cautious moves ahead of the release of some key economic data from China.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which rose to 9,050.6 in early trades, is currently down in negative territory at 9,006.65, down 3 points from its previous close.

Nikon Corp. shares are up nearly 8 percent, thanks to an upbeat earnings report from the company.

Daikin Industries and Konica Minolta Holdings are are trading higher by over 6.5 percent. Ebara Corp, Isuzu Motors, Olympus Corp, Advantest and Tosoh Corp are up 3.7 to 4.5 percent.

Hitachi Ltd shares are gaining 2.5 percent after the company forecast a 16 percent increase in operating profit for the financial year.

Bridgestone Corp, Nissan Motor, Fujifilm Holdings Corp, Eisai Co., Sojitz Corp, Yokohama Rubber, Trend Micro, Tokyo Electron, Japan Steel Works, Hino Motors, JX Holdings and Ricoh are also trading notably higher.

Among the prominent losers, Nitto Boseki, Terumo Corp, Furukawa Electric, Tokyo Electric Power, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Sharp Corp, Sumco Corp, Pioneer Corp and Sumitomo Chemical are down 2.5 to 5.5 percent.

Nippon Sheet Glass, Sony Corp, Ajinomoto Co Inc., Softbank, Mitsubishi Paper Mills, JFE Holdings, Chubu Electric Power and SMFG are trading lower by 1 to 2 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the upper 79 yen range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 79.90 to the dollar.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan are trading notably lower. Australia and Shanghai are down with modest losses, while Malaysia and New Zealand are trading flat. Markets across the region turned in a mixed performance on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks failed to sustain early gains and mostly ended flat after a choppy ride. While bargain hunting pushed up stock prices higher early on in the session, concerns about the political uncertainty in Greece dragged the markets down as the day progressed.

The major averages eventually ended the session mixed. While the Nasdaq edged down by 1.1 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 2,933.6, the Dow crept up 20 points or 0.2 percent to 12,855 and the S&P 500 rose 3.4 points or 0.3 percent to 1,358.

Major European markets surged higher on Thursday. The German DAX index ended up 0.7 percent, while the French CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index gained 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.

U.S. crude oil futures settled modestly higher on Thursday, snapping a six-day losing streak, on a weak dollar and some mixed economic data from the U.S., including a flat initial jobs claims for last week.

Crude for June delivery gained $0.27 or 0.3 percent to close at $97.08 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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