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Japanese Market Notably Lower

The Japanese stock market is notably lower on Monday following the negative cues from Wall Street on Friday amid worries about U.S.-China trade relations and global economic growth. Investors are also cautious as they await the minutes of the Bank of Japan's September monetary policy meeting.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 339.86 points or 1.53 percent to 21,903.80, after touching a low of 21,897.87 earlier. Japanese shares logged their biggest single-day gain since March on Friday.

The major exporters are losing despite a weaker yen. Sony is losing almost 2 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric and Canon are losing more than 1 percent each. Panasonic is edging down less than 0.1 percent.

In the tech sector, Advantest is gaining more than 2 percent and Tokyo Electron is rising 0.3 percent. Conglomerate SoftBank is declining 0.5 percent.

Among auto makers, Toyota is declining more than 1 percent and Honda is down 0.6 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is losing 0.7 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is up 0.2 percent.

In the oil space, Inpex is lower by almost 1 percent, while Japan Petroleum is adding 0.4 percent after crude oil prices fell for a fifth straight session on Friday.

Among the other major gainers, Sapporo Holdings is rising more than 7 percent, while Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma and Rakuten are gaining almost 4 percent each.

On the flip side, NTT Data is losing more than 7 percent and Marubeni Corp. is lower by more than 6 percent, while Fast Retailing and Subaru are declining almost 5 percent each.

The Nikkei reported that Subaru's operating profit for the fiscal year through March 2019 is expected to fall about 30 percent due to recall costs.

In economic news, the Bank of Japan will release the minutes from its monetary policy meeting on September 18 and 19. At the meeting, the central bank retained the -0.1 percent interest rate on current accounts that financial institutions maintain at the bank.

The services sector in Japan continued to expand in October, and at a faster rate, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed on Monday with a PMI score of 52.4. That's up from 50.2 in September, and it moves back above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.The survey also said the composite index climbed to 52.5 from 50.7 a month earlier.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 113 yen-range on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed lower on Friday led by Apple after the tech giant reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenues that exceeded estimates but weaker than expected iPhone shipments. Traders also digested a closely-watched Labor Department report showing stronger than expected job growth in the month of October, led to renewed concerns about the outlook for interest rates.

The Dow fell 109.91 points or 0.4 percent to 25,270.83, the Nasdaq slumped 77.06 points or 1 percent to 7,356.99 and the S&P 500 slid 17.31 points or 0.6 percent to 2,723.06.

The major European markets turned in a mixed performance on Friday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index rose by 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices fell on Friday amid worries about oversupply after the U.S. said several countries will receive sanctions waivers to continue buying Iranian oil. WTI crude for December delivery slid $0.55 to $63.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest closing level for a front-month contract since April.

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