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Japanese Market Modestly Lower

The Japanese stock market is modestly lower on Tuesday following the overnight losses on Wall Street amid concerns about whether lawmakers in Washington will reach an agreement on a new stimulus bill. Surging coronavirus cases in the U.S. and Europe also weighed on the market.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 66.94 points or 0.28 percent to 23,604.19, after touching a low of 23,585.56 earlier. Japanese stocks closed notably higher on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is declining almost 1 percent and Fast Retailing is down 0.5 percent.

The major exporters are mixed despite a weaker yen. Sony is rising more than 2 percent and Canon is adding 0.5 percent, while Mitsubishi Electric is lower by 0.4 percent and Panasonic is down 0.2 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest and Tokyo Electron are adding more than 1 percent each.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is declining 0.5 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is lower by 0.3 percent. Among automakers, Honda is declining almost 1 percent and Toyota is down 0.3 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Tokai Carbon and Cyberagent are advancing more than 2 percent each, while Taiyo Yuden is rising almost 2 percent.

Conversely, Takashimaya Co. is losing almost 4 percent, while Isetan Mitsukoshi, East Japan Railway and Tokyo Electric Power Co. are lower by more than 3 percent each. J Front Retailing is down almost 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid 105 yen-range on Tuesday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed sharply lower on Monday, reflecting concerns about whether lawmakers in Washington will reach an agreement on a new stimulus bill. In a post on Twitter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill revealed that the Democratic leader spoke with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for just over an hour on Saturday. Hammill said that there remains an array of additional differences that must be addressed in a comprehensive manner in the next 48 hours.

The Dow tumbled 410.89 points or 1.4 percent to 28,195.42, the Nasdaq plunged 192.67 points or 1.7 percent to 11,478.88 and the S&P 500 slumped 56.89 points or 1.6 percent to 3,426.92.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on Monday. While the French CAC 40 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index dropped by 0.4 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index slid by 0.6 percent.

Crude oil futures ended slightly lower on Monday, weighed down by lingering concerns about energy demand outlook due to rising coronavirus cases. WTI crude for November delivery edged down $0.05 or about 0.1 percent to $40.83 a barrel.

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