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Japanese Market Modestly Lower

The Japanese stock market is modestly lower on Monday, extending the losses in the previous two sessions, with the Nikkei 225 staying below the 27,900 level, despite the broadly positive cues from global markets on Friday, as traders remain cautious amid Bank of Japan maintaining its ultra-loose monetary policy even after data showed annual core consumer prices surged to a 40-year high in October.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 52.04 or 0.19 percent at 27,847.73, after hitting a low of 27,847.42 and a high of 28,007.06 earlier. Japanese shares ended lower on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing almost 1 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging up 0.1 percent. Among automakers, Honda and Toyota are edging up 0.1 to 0.3 percent each.

In the tech space, Screen Holdings and Advantest are gaining more than 1 percent each, while Tokyo Electron is edging up 0.3 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mizuho Financial are edging up 0.1 percent each, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is gaining almost 1 percent.

The major exporters are mostly higher, with Sony and Panasonic gaining almost 1 percent each, while Mitsubishi Electric is edging up 0.3 percent. Canon is edging down 0.3 percent.

Among the other major losers, Sompo Holdings is plummeting more than 9 percent, Tokai Carbon is plunging 6.5 percent and Showa Denko K.K. is losing more than 4 percent, while Nippon Sheet Glass and Shiseido are declining almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, Sapporo Holdings and Sumitomo Metal Mining are gaining almost 3 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 140 yen-range on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks failed to sustain an initial move to the upside and showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading session on Friday. The choppy trading on the day extended the volatility seen over the past several sessions.

The Dow climbed 199.37 points or 0.6 percent to end the day at 33,745.69, the S&P 500 rose 18.78 points or 0.5 percent to 3,965.34 and the Nasdaq closed up just 1.10 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 11,146.06

The major European markets all also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index shot up by 1.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index jumped by 1.0 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.5 percent.

Crude oil prices fell to a six-week low on Friday amid concerns about outlook for demand from China, and easing worries about supply. A firm dollar weighed as well on oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December dropped to $80.08, down $1.56 or about 1.9 percent. WTI crude futures shed about 10 percent this week, after having posted a loss of about 4 percent in the previous week.

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