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Japanese Market Loses

The Japanese stock market is losing on Monday following the weak cues from Wall Street Friday and on concerns about the global economic impact of the coronavirus as China's death toll from the coronavirus outbreak has exceeded the global total from the SARS epidemic.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is declining 158.91 points or 0.67 percent to 23,669.07, after touching a low of 23,621.72 earlier. Japanese stocks closed lower on Friday, snapping a three-session winning streak.

Market heavyweight SoftBank is adding 0.2 percent, while Fast Retailing is edging down 0.1 percent.

Among tech stocks, Advantest is lower by more than 1 percent and Tokyo Electron is down 0.3 percent.

The major exporters are also lower on a stronger yen. Panasonic, Mitsubishi Electric, Canon and Sony are all losing more than 1 percent each.

Among auto stocks, Honda Motor is gaining more than 2 percent, while Toyota Motor is declining more than 1 percent.

In the oil sector, Inpex is lower by more than 1 percent and Japan Petroleum is down 0.6 percent while.

Among the other major gainers, Dena Co., Marui Group and Nissan Chemical are rising more than 2 percent each.

Conversely, Taiyo Yuden, Nikon Corp. and Comsys Holdings are losing more than 5 percent each, while Bandai Namco and Amada Holdings are lower by almost 5 percent each.

In economic news, the Ministry of Finance said that Japan posted a current account surplus of 524.0 billion yen in December, up 12.8 percent on year. That exceeded expectations for a surplus of 464.7 billion yen following the 1,436.8 billion yen surplus in November.

The trade balance reflected a surplus of 120.7 billion yen, also topping expectations for 28.0 billion yen following the 2.5 billion yen deficit a month earlier.

The Bank of Japan said that overall bank lending in Japan was up 1.9 percent on year in January, coming in at 545.433 trillion yen. That exceeded expectations for an increase of 1.8 percent, which would have been unchanged from the December reading.

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

On Wall Street, stocks closed lower on Friday on profit taking. However, selling pressure was somewhat subdued following the release of a report from the Labor Department showing stronger than expected job growth in the month of January. The Labor Department said employment jumped by 225,000 jobs in January following a revised increase of 147,000 jobs in December. Economists had expected employment to rise by 160,000 jobs compared to the addition of 145,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

The Dow tumbled 277.48 points or 0.9 percent to 29,102.29, the Nasdaq slid 51.64 points or 05 percent to 9,520.51 and the S&P 500 fell 18.08 points or 0.5 percent to 3,327.70.

The major European markets also ended weak on Friday. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 declined 0.51 percent, while Germany's DAX ended down 0.45 percent and France's CAC 40 shed 0.14 percent.

Crude oil futures closed lower on Friday as worries about the spread of coronavirus, and its impact on the global economy and energy demand weighed on oil prices. WTI crude for March ended down $0.63, or about 1.2 percent, at $50.32 a barrel.

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