Japanese Market Modestly Lower
TOKYO (dpa-AFX) - The Japanese stock market is modestly lower on Thursday following the lackluster cues from Wall Street and on a stronger yen.
In late-morning trades, the Nikkei 225 Index is losing 52.07 points or 0.27 percent to 19,165.41, off a low of 19,145.63 earlier.
The major exporters are higher despite a stronger yen. Sony and Panasonic are rising almost 1 percent each, while Canon is adding more than 1 percent.
Shares of Toshiba are advancing almost 3 percent ahead of an extraordinary shareholders meeting later today. Toshiba's Westinghouse Electric unit filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday.
Automaker Toyota is adding 0.2 percent, while Honda is losing 0.5 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is down 0.7 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is lower b 0.4 percent each.
In the oil space, Inpex is higher by almost 2 percent and JX Holdings is rising more than 2 percent.
Among the other major gainers, Toho Zinc is rising more than 4 percent, while Sumco Corp. and Dowa Holdings are gaining almost 3 percent each. On the flip side, Ube Industries, Unitika and Toyobo Co, are down 3 percent each.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the lower 111 yen-range on Thursday.
On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed on Wednesday as traders seemed reluctant to make any significant moves amid continued uncertainty about President Donald Trump's policy agenda following the failure of the Republican health care bill.
Developments in the U.K. were also in focus after the British government sent a notification letter to European Council President Donald Tusk formally beginning the country's exit from the European Union.
While the Dow edged down 42.18 points or 0.2 percent to 20,659.32, the Nasdaq rose 22.41 points or 0.4 percent to 5,897.55 and the S&P 500 inched up 2.56 points or 0.1 percent to 2,361.13.
The major European markets moved to the upside on Wednesday. While the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.5 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index both rose by 0.4 percent.
Crude oil futures rallied to 3-week highs Wednesday after data showed a smaller than expected build in U.S. crude oil inventories. WTI crude for May delivery jumped $1.14 or 2.4 percent to $49.51 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX