Japanese Market Significantly Lower

The Japanese stock market is significantly lower in choppy trading on Wednesday, extending the losses in the previous three sessions, with the Nikkei 225 falling below the 27,900 level, following the mixed cues from global markets overnight, with weakness in technology and financial stocks. Release of domestic data showing a sharper-than-expected dip in industrial production also weighed on market sentiment.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 181.78 points or 0.65 percent at 27,846.06, after hitting a low of 27,802.71 earlier. Japanese stocks closed modestly lower on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing almost 1 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging down 0.2 percent. Among automakers, Honda is edging up 0.4 percent, while Toyota is edging down 0.3 percent.

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

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging down 0.4 percent, Mizuho Financial is losing almost 1 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is declining more than 1 percent.

Among the major exporters, Sony is losing more than 2 percent, Canon is edging down 0.4 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is declining more than 1 percent, while Panasonic is gaining almost 1 percent.

Among the other major losers, Trend Micro is losing more than 3 percent and Hoya is declining almost 3 percent.

Conversely, IHI Corp. is gaining more than 4 percent.

In economic news, Industrial production in Japan was down a seasonally adjusted 2.6 percent on month in October, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Wednesday. That missed forecasts for a contraction of 1.5 percent following the 1.7 percent drop in September. On a yearly basis, industrial production rose 3.7 percent - also shy of expectations for a gain of 5 percent and slowing from 9.6 percent in the previous month.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid-138 yen-range on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading day on Tuesday following the sell-off seen to start the week. The Dow eventually ended the session nearly unchanged, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 closed lower for the third straight session.

The Dow spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before closing up 3.07 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 33,852.53. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 edged down 6.31 points or 0.2 percent to 10,983.78 and the Nasdaq slid 65.72 points or 0.6 percent to 10,983.78.

The major European markets also turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the German DAX Index edged down by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index inched up by 0.1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.5 percent.

Crude oil futures settled higher Tuesday, extending gains from the previous session on hopes that OPEC may trim production to support prices later this week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended higher by $$0.96 or 1.2 percent at $78.20 a barrel.

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