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Japanese Market Notably Lower

The Japanese stock market is notably lower on Wednesday and the safe-haven yen strengthened following the weak cues overnight from Wall Street.

Investor sentiment was dampened on worries about rising U.S.-China trade tensions after the Trump administration imposed visa restrictions on Chinese officials and expanded its trade blacklist to include some of China's top artificial intelligence firms.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 162.86 points or 0.75 percent to 21,424.92, after touching a low of 21,359.84 in early trades. Japanese stocks rebounded on Tuesday.

In the tech space, Advantest is losing more than 4 percent and Tokyo Electron is declining 1 percent, following their U.S. counterparts lower after the Trump administration expanded its trade blacklist to include some of China's top artificial intelligence firms.

The major exporters are lower on a stronger safe-haven yen. Panasonic is losing more than 1 percent, Canon is declining almost 1 percent, Sony is lower by 0.4 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is down 0.3 percent.

In the auto sector, Toyota Motor is adding 0.2 percent, while Honda Motor is lower by 0.2 percent.

Shares of Nissan Motor are declining almost 1 percent even as the automaker said it has appointed Makoto Uchida, the head of its China joint venture, as the company's new chief executive officer.

Market heavyweight SoftBank is down more than 1 percent and Fast Retailing is lower by 0.5 percent.

Among oil stocks, Japan Petroleum is falling more than 2 percent and Inpex is losing almost 2 percent after crude oil prices declined overnight.

Among the other major gainers, Kansai Electric Power is rising more than 2 percent and Toray Industries is higher by almost 2 percent.

On the flip side, Obayashi Corp. is lower by more than 2 percent.

On the economic front, Japan will release preliminary September figures for machine tool orders today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 107 yen-range on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed sharply lower on Tuesday following news the Trump administration imposed visa restrictions on Chinese officials over abuses of Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region. Optimism about the upcoming U.S.-China trade talks had already waned after a report from the South China Morning Post said China is subtly toning down expectations ahead of this week's negotiations.

The Dow slumped 313.98 points or 1.2 percent to 26,164.04, the Nasdaq plunged 132.52 points or 1.7 percent to 7,823.78 and the S&P 500 tumbled 45.73 points or 1.6 percent to 2,893.06.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on Tuesday. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index slid by 0.8 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index tumbled by 1.1 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures ended lower on Tuesday as fading optimism about U.S.-China trade talks weighed on prospects for near term energy demand. WTI crude for November ended down $0.12, or about 0.2 percent, at $52.63 a barrel.

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