News Column

Japanese Market Drifts Lower On Profit Taking

June 23, 2014

TOKYO (dpa-AFX) - The Japanese stock market opened weak on Tuesday, with investors indulging in some profit taking following a flat close on Wall Street overnight.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which rose to a five-month high on Monday, is currently down 95.5 points or 0.6 percent at15,273.8, after declining to 15,252.2.

Inpex Corp. shares are down 3.5 percent following a drop in crude oil prices. Ricoh Co. is losing nearly 4 percent.

Nisshin Steel, Mitsui Fudosan, Nissan Motor, Amada Co., Tokyo Tatemono, NTN Corp., Mitsui Chemicals, Honda Motor and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal are lower by 2 to 3 percent.

JFE Holdings Inc., MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings, Mazda Motor, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MTU), Shinsei Bank, GS Yuasa Corp., Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) and Fanuc Corp. are also trading notably lower.

Toppan Printing is down 0.7 percent. The company is reportedly planning to build a factory in the U.S. for manufacturing transparent barrier films, at an estimated cost of around 10 billion yen.

Among the gainers, Nippon Electric Glass is advancing nearly 2 percent. ANA Holdings is moving up 1.3 percent.

Isuzu Motors, Hitachi Zosen Corp., Daiichi Sankyo, Mitsui OSK Lines, Nippon Sheet Glass, Olympus Corp. and Asahi Group Holdings are advancing 0.5 to 1 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the upper 101 yen range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 101.82 to the U.S. dollar, against Monday's close of 101.88 yen per dollar.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia is notably lower. Shanghai, Malaysia and New Zealand are down marginally. Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan are modestly higher, while Singapore is up marginally.

On Wall Street, stocks ended roughly flat on Monday, as traders seemed reluctant to make any significant moves amid uncertainty about the near-term outlook. Though economic data from the U.S. were quite encouraging, a mixed batch of data from overseas appeared to weigh on the markets to an extent.

While the Nasdaq inched up 0.6 points or less than 0.1 percent to 4,368.7, the Dow declined 9.8 points or 0.1 percent to 16,937.3 and the S&P 500 edged down 0.3 points or less than 0.1 percent to 1,962.6.

Major European markets closed weak on Monday. While the U.K.'sFTSE 100 index dropped by 0.4 percent, the French CAC 40 index and the German DAX index ended lower by 0.6 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

U.S. crude oil snapped a two-day gain to end lower on Monday, on developments in Iraq with Secretary of State John Kerry in Baghdad for talks with political and religious leaders to tackle the ISIS threat. Nonetheless, the losses were limited after some upbeat economic data from the U.S. and China.

Crude for August delivery ended down $0.66 or 0.6 percent at $106.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after scaling a high of $107.45 a barrel intraday.

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Source: dpa-AFX International Compact

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