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Japanese Market Tumbling

The Japanese stock market is sharply lower on Wednesday, giving up the small gains in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 falling 600 points to below the 26,000 mark, following the mixed cues from Wall Street overnight, with weakness across all sectors as trades react to the release of the minutes from the Bank of Japan's monetary policy meeting.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 607.23 points or 2.29 percent at 25,964.64, after hitting a low of 25,957.51 earlier. Japanese stocks closed modestly higher on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing almost 2 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is declining more than 4 percent. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota are losing almost 2 percent each.

In the tech space, Screen Holdings and Tokyo Electron are losing almost 1 percent each, while Advantest is declining more than 1 percent.

In the banking sector, Mizuho Financial is losing almost 2 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial are declining more than 2 percent each.

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

Among the other major losers, Mitsubishi Motors is plunging almost 6 percent and J. Front Retailing is losing almost 5 percent, while Isetan Mitsukoshi, Holdings and Takashimaya are declining more than 4 percent each. Nippon Sheet Glass and Tokyu are down almost 4 percent each, while Asahi Group, Marui Group, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Sumitomo Realty & Development, Mazda Motor, Japan Steel Works, Tokyu Fudosan Holdings and Sapporo Holdings are slipping more than 3 percent each.

Conversely, there are no major gainers.

In economic news, members of the Bank of Japan's Monetary Policy Board agree that the country's economy is trending higher as the effects of COVID-19 wane, minutes from the bank's meeting on July 20 and 21 revealed on Wednesday.

At the meeting, the BoJ voted 8-1 to maintain a negative interest rate of -0.1 percent on current accounts that financial institutions maintain at the central bank. The bank will also continue to purchase a necessary amount of Japanese government bonds without setting an upper limit so that 10-year JGB yields will remain at around zero percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the higher 144 yen-range on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Tuesday before eventually ending the session mixed after failing to sustain an early move to the upside. While the tech-heavy Nasdaq managed to end the day modestly higher, the Dow and the S&P 500 once again fell to their lowest closing levels since late 2020.

The Nasdaq bounced back and forth across the unchanged line in afternoon trading before closing up 26.58 points or 0.3 percent to 10,829.50. Meanwhile, the Dow fell 125.82 points or 0.4 percent to 29,134.99 after surging by nearly 400 points in early trading, while the S&P 500 edged down 7.75 points or 0.2 percent to 3,647.29.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the downside over the course of the session. While the German DAX Index slid 0.7 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.5 percent and the French CAC 40 Index dipped by 0.3 percent.

Crude oil prices climbed higher on Tuesday on reports producers have slowed down production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Ian. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended higher by $1.79 or 2.3 percent at $78.50 a barrel.

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