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Japanese Market Edges Higher In Choppy Trade

The Japanese stock market recovered after a weak start and is edging higher on Thursday in choppy trade following the mixed cues overnight from Wall Street amid a lack of progress on the U.S.-China trade front.

A report from Reuters said a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could be delayed until December. Weak earnings results from market heavyweight SoftBank also weighed on sentiment.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 16.12 points or 0.07 percent to 23,319.94, after touching a low of 23,267.03 in early trades.

SoftBank Group is lower by more than 1 percent after the conglomerate reported its first quarterly loss in 14 years. Fast Retailing is down almost 1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major exporters are mostly higher despite a stronger yen. Panasonic is rising 1 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is advancing almost 1 percent, and Canon is adding 0.6 percent, while Sony is declining more than 1 percent.

Among auto stocks, Toyota Motor and Honda Motor are edging up 0.1 percent each. In the tech space, Advantest is rising almost 1 percent and Tokyo Electron is higher by 0.4 percent.

In the oil sector, Japan Petroleum is adding 0.7 percent and Inpex is rising more than 2 percent after crude oil prices snapped a three-day winning streak to close lower overnight.

Among the major gainers, Olympus Corp. is gaining more than 17 percent, GS Yuasa Corp. is rising almost 6 percent and Dowa Holdings is higher by more than 3 percent.

On the flip side, Mitsubishi Motors and Tokai Carbon are losing more than 5 percent each, while Dena Co. is lower by almost 5 percent.

In economic news, Japan will see October data for Tokyo office vacancies today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 108 yen-range on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed on Wednesday in choppy trading as traders seemed to be looking for more concrete developments on the U.S.-China trade front. Stocks moved to the downside after a report from Reuters said a meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could be delayed until December, although selling pressure waned shortly afterward.

While the S&P 500 inched up 2.16 points or 0.1 percent to 3,076.78, the Dow edged down 0.07 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 27,492.56 and the Nasdaq dipped 24.05 points or 0.3 percent to 8,410.63.

The major European markets moved modestly higher on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index inched up by 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Wednesday, snapping a three-day winning streak, after data from Energy Information Administration showed a much larger than expected increase in crude inventories in the week ended November 1. WTI crude for December delivery slumped $0.88 or about 1.5 percent to $56.35 a barrel.

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