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Japanese Market Modestly Lower

The Japanese stock market is modestly lower on Thursday, snapping the winning streak of the previous seven sessions, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 staying above the 30,000 mark, following the broadly negative cues overnight from Wall Street, as the nation continues its efforts to contain the unprecedented spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus continues, with economic activity being stifled in most of the cities in the country.

The government plans to extend its COVID-19 state of emergency in Tokyo and 18 other prefectures until the end of this month, beyond the currently scheduled expiration on Sunday. The state of emergency is currently in place in 21 of Japan's 47 prefectures.

However, the government looking to relax COVID-19 curbs on travel, large-scale events and the serving of alcohol around November, provided that people are mostly vaccinated.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 149.55 points or 0.50 percent to 30,031.66, after hitting a low of 29,959.21 earlier. Japanese shares ended significantly higher on Wednesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing almost 3 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is down almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Toyota is edging down 0.6 percent and Honda is losing almost 2 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining 1.5 percent and Tokyo Electron is adding almost 1 percent, while Screen Holdings is flat.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mizuho Financial are losing almost 1 percent each, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is down more than 1 percent.

The major exporters are mixed. Sony is edging up 0.2 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is gaining almost 1 percent, while Panasonic is losing more than 1 percent, and Canon is edging down 0.1 percent.

Among the other major losers, NEXON is losing more than 4 percent, while Shionogi & Co. and Ebara are down more than 3 percent each. T&D Holdings, Z Holdings and Obayashi are declining almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Tokyo Electric Power is soaring more than 12 percent, while Kansai Electric Power and Toho Zinc are down more than 5 percent each. Chubu Electric Power and Osaka Gas are declining almost 3 percent each

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 110 yen-range on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks moved mostly lower during trading on Wednesday following the mixed performance seen in the previous session. With the drop on the day, the tech-heavy Nasdaq pulled back off yesterday's record closing high.

The major averages all finished the day in negative territory. The Dow dipped 68.93 points or 0.2 percent to 35,031.07, the Nasdaq slid 87.69 points or 0.6 percent to 15,286.64 and the S&P 500 edged down 5.96 points or 0.1 percent to 4,514.07.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index tumbled by 1.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index slid by 0.9 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures settled higher on Wednesday as prices rose on reports of slow progress in the restoration of crude output in the Gulf of Mexico. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended up $0.95 or 1.4 percent at $69.30 a barrel.

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