Japanese Market Modestly Higher

The Japanese stock market is modestly higher in choppy trading on Tuesday, extending the slight gains in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 staying just below the 27,900 level, despite the broadly negative cues from Wall Street overnight, with the index alternating between the red and green as traders are making cautious trades amid concerns the US Fed will maintain the pace of interest rate hikes following release of data that showed better-than-expected US services activity.

Domestic data released today also showed that showing household spending in Japan rose the least in five months, while real wages fell to an over seven-year low.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is up 54.97 points or 0.20 percent at 27,875.37, after touching a high of 27,877.63 and a low of 27,698.31 earlier. Japanese shares ended slightly higher on Monday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing more than 2 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is gaining almost 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is flat and Toyota is losing almost 1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest and Screen Holdings are gaining 1.5 percent each, while Tokyo Electron is adding almost 1 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mizuho Financial are gaining almost 1 percent each.

The major exporters are mostly lower, with Panasonic and Mitsubishi Electric edging down 0.1 to 0.4 percent each, while Sony losing almost 1 percent. Canon gaining more than 1 percent.

Among the other major losers, CyberAgent and M3 are losing more than 3 percent each, while Eisai and Nippon Sheet Glass are declining almost 3 percent each.

Conversely, NTN is gaining more than 4 percent, while Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha and Mazda Motor are adding almost 3 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid-136 yen-range on Tuesday.

On Wall Street, stocks moved sharply lower over the course of the session on Monday after ending last Friday's trading narrowly mixed. The major averages came under pressure in early trading and saw further downside as the day progressed.

The major averages climbed off their worst levels going into the close but remained firmly negative. The Dow slumped 482.78 points or 1.4 percent to 33,947.10, the Nasdaq dove 221.56 points or 1.9 percent to 11,239.94 and the S&P 500 tumbled 72.86 points or 1.8 percent to 3,998.84.

Meanwhile, the major European markets turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index crept up by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index fell by 0.6 percent and the French CAC 40 Index slid by 0.7 percent.

Crude oil prices fell on Monday as strong U.S. service data raised the prospects for more aggressive moves by the Federal Reserve. West Texas Intermediate Crude futures for January ended lower by $3.05 or 3.8 percent at $76.93 a barrel.

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