Japanese Market Significantly Lower

The Japanese stock market is significantly lower on Wednesday after opening in the green, extending the slight losses in the previous session, with the Nikkei 225 falling to stay just above the 27,500 level, despite the broadly positive cues from Wall Street overnight, dragged by sharp losses at index heavyweights SoftBank Group and Nintendo.

SoftBank Group is slipping more than 6 percent after reporting a net loss of around $6 billion in the December quarter, while Nintendo is plunging more than 7 percent after it slashed sales forecast for the Nintendo Switch console,

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 172.86 or 0.62 percent at 27,512.61, after hitting a low of 27,458.53 earlier. Japanese stocks ended slightly lower on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is sliding more than 6 percent, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is losing more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Honda is down more than 1 percent and Toyota is flat.

In the tech space, Screen Holdings is gaining almost 1 percent, Advantest is advancing almost 2 percent and Tokyo Electron is edging up 0.2 percent.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial are edging up 0.3 percent each, while Mizuho Financial is edging down 0.1 percent.

Among the major exporters, Canon is losing more than 1 percent, while Sony and Panasonic are edging down 0.3 to 0.5 percent each. Mitsubishi Electric is flat.

Among the other major losers, Sharp is plummeting almost 11 percent and Marui Group is plunging almost 8 percent, while Nintendo and Furukawa Electric are sliding more than 7 percent each. Yokogawa Electric is slipping more than 6 percent, while Mitsui Mining, Taiyo Yuden and IHI are losing more than 3 percent each.

Conversely, GS Yuasa is surging more than 6 percent, while Kyowa Kirin and Mitsubishi Chemical are gaining almost 6 percent each. Nichirei is adding more than 4 percent and Daiichi Sankyo is advancing more than 3 percent.

In economic news, Japan had a current account surplus of 33.4 billion yen in December, the Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday. That missed expectations for a surplus of 98 billion yen following the 1.804 trillion yen surplus in November. For all of 2022, the current account surplus was 11.443 trillion yen, down from 21.591 trillion yen in 2021.

Overall bank lending in Japan was up 3.1 percent on year in January, the Bank of Japan said on Wednesday - coming in at 599.178 trillion yen. That exceeded expectations for an increase of 2.5 percent and was up from 2.7 percent in December. Excluding trusts, lending jumped an annual 3.5 percent to 522.145 trillion yen, up from 3.0 percent in the previous month.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the 131 yen-range on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed on a buoyant note on Tuesday thanks to strong buying at several counters despite staying weak till noon and suffering a setback after a subsequent recovery. Positive reaction to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's remarks at the Economic Club of Washington lifted the market up.

The major averages all ended with impressive gains. The Dow ended higher by 265.67 points or 0.78 percent at 34,156.69. The S&P 500 closed up 52.92 points or 1.29 percent at 4,164.00, while the Nasdaq climbed 226.34 points or 1.9 percent to 12,113.79.

The major European markets closed on a mixed note with investors largely making cautious moves amid concerns about slowing global economy, and geopolitical tensions. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.36 percent, while Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 edged down 0.16 percent and 0.07 percent, respectively.

Crude oil futures advanced Tuesday on expectations of higher energy demand from China, and on supply concerns following a massive earthquake in Turkey on Monday. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended higher by $3.02 or 4.1 percent at $77.14 a barrel, the highest close since January 31.

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