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Japanese Market Edges Lower

The Japanese stock market is edging lower on Monday, after opening higher following the modest gains on Wall Street Friday as investors digested conflicting information regarding negotiations of a U.S.-China trade deal. Data showing Japan's core machinery orders fell in September for a third straight month also dampened sentiment.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 7.02 points or 0.03 percent to 23,384.85, after rising to a high of 23,471.82 in early trade.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is adding 0.4 percent, while Fast Retailing is declining 0.5 percent.

The major exporters are mixed on a stronger yen. Mitsubishi Electric is lower by almost 1 percent and Panasonic is down 0.4 percent, while Sony is rising more than 1 percent and Canon is up 0.3 percent.

Among auto stocks, Honda Motor is rising more than 3 percent, while Toyota Motor is down 0.2 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is lower by almost 1 percent, while Tokyo Electron is adding 0.3 percent.

In the oil sector, Japan Petroleum is declining more than 1 percent and Inpex is losing 0.4 percent even as crude oil prices edged higher on Friday.

Among the major gainers, Nissan Chemical is rising more than 8 percent, Mitsui E&S Holdings is gaining almost 5 percent and Secom Co. is higher by more than 4 percent.

On the flip side, Daiwa House Industry is losing more than 7 percent and Meiji Holdings is lower by almost 4 percent. Taisei Corp, Citizen Watch Co. and Pacific Metals are all declining more than 3 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 109 yen-range on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks turned in a lackluster performance, but managed to close higher on Friday as traders digested conflicting information regarding negotiations of a U.S.-China trade deal. Comments from a Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman indicating the U.S. and China had agreed to roll back existing tariffs as part of a phase one trade deal contributed to strength in the markets on Thursday. However, President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday that he has not agreed to lift the tariffs on China.

The Dow inched up 6.44 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 27,681.24, the Nasdaq climbed 40.80 points or 0.5 percent to 8,475.31 and the S&P 500 rose 7.90 points or 0.3 percent to 3,093.08.

The major European markets all moved to the downside on Friday. While the French CAC 40 Index closed just below the unchanged line, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures settled modestly higher on Friday despite higher crude inventories and renewed uncertainty about U.S.-China trade deal. WTI crude for December ended up $0.09 or 0.2 percent at $57.24 a barrel.

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