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Japanese Market Modestly Lower

The Japanese stock market is modestly lower in choppy trading on Thursday, giving up some of the gains in the previous session, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 staying above the 27,800 level, following the broadly negative cues overnight from Wall Street, with weakness across all sectors as concerns about the Coronavirus Omicron variant continues to hurt market sentiment.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 244.18 points or 0.87 percent to 27,691.44, after hitting a low of 27,644.96 earlier. Japanese shares ended modestly higher on Wednesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing more than 5 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging down 0.4 percent. Among automakers, Toyota is losing more than 1 percent and Honda is edging down 0.6 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest, Tokyo Electron and Screen Holdings are edging down between 0.2 and 0.6 percent each.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mizuho Financial are flat.

The major exporters are lower. Panasonic is losing almost 1 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is edging down 0.6 percent, while Sony and Canon are declining more than 2 percent each.

Among the other major losers, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings is plunging almost 10 percent and Mitsubishi Motors is losing almost 5 percent, while Sumitomo Chemical, Ricoh and Showa Denko K.K. are declining more 4 percent each. is down almost 4 percent. J. Front Retailing, Mazda Motor, Inpex and Yokogawa Electric are slipping more than 3 percent each.

Conversely, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha is soaring more than 8 percent, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines is surging almost 7 percent, Nippon Yusen K.K. is adding almost 5 percent, Osaka Gas is up almost 4 percent and Casio Computer is rising more than 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the 113 yen-range on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks showed a strong move to the upside in early trading on Wednesday but pulled back sharply over the course of the session. With the downturn on the day, the Dow fell to a nearly two-month closing low, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 hit their lowest closing levels in over a month.

The major averages saw further downside going into the close, ending the session at their worst levels of the day. The Dow tumbled 461.68 points or 1.3 percent at 34,022.04, the Nasdaq plunged 283.64 points or 1.8 percent to 15,254.05 and the S&P 500 slumped 53.96 points or 1.2 percent to 4,513.04.

Meanwhile, the major European markets also showed strong moves to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index jumped by 1.6 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index surged up by 2.4 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices showed a strong move to the upside in early trading on Wednesday but came under pressure over the course of the session on news of the Omicron case. Crude for January delivery slumped $0.61 or 0.9 percent $65.57 a barrel, its lowest closing level in three months.

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