Japanese Market Modestly Lower

The Japanese stock market is modestly lower on Monday, giving up the gains in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 falling below the 29,700 level, following the mostly negative cues from Wall Street on Friday, on renewed COVID-19 concerns is Europe and some other countries that is sparking worries about the pace of the global economic recovery, even as Japan unveiled a record 56 trillion yen, or $490 billion stimulus package.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 89.99 points or 0.30 percent at 29,655.88, after hitting a low of 29,542.29 earlier. Japanese shares ended modestly higher on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is flat, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is losing almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota are losing more than 1 percent each.

In the tech space, Advantest is gaining almost 1 percent, while Screen Holdings and Tokyo Electron are edging down 0.3 percent each. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is losing more than 1 percent, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is declining 1.5 percent and Mizuho Financial is edging down 0.2 percent.

The major exporters are lower, with Panasonic and Sony losing almost 1 percent each, while Mitsubishi Electric declining almost 2 percent and Canon is down more than 1 percent.

Among the other major losers, Inpex is losing 5.5 percent, while Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Yokohama Rubber are declining more than 3 percent each. Nissan Motor, Nexon, NSK, IHI and Ricoh are slipping almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Japan Steel Works is gaining almost 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 114 yen-range on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks once again moved in opposite directions during trading on Friday following the mixed performance seen in the previous session. While the tech-heavy Nasdaq reached a new record closing high, the Dow moved lower for the third straight session.

The Nasdaq climbed 63.73 points or 0.4 percent to 16,057.44, but the Dow slid 268.97 points or 0.8 percent to 35,601.98. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing down 6.58 points or 0.1 percent at 4,697.96.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index slid by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index both fell by 0.4 percent.

Crude oil prices plunged sharply on Friday amid rising concerns about the outlook for energy demand following a surge in COVID-19 cases and fresh restrictions in some European countries. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December settled at $75.94 a barrel, losing $2.47 or 3.2 percent.

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