Japanese Market Declines

The Japanese stock market is declining on Thursday after two straight days of gains and despite the positive lead overnight from Wall Street as concerns about the Chinese economy as well as a stronger yen weighed on sentiment.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 117.37 points or 0.54 percent to 21,803.09, after touching a low of 21,685.24 earlier. Japanese shares hit a one-week high on Wednesday after the Bank of Japan left interest rates steady.

The major exporters are mostly higher despite a stronger yen. Sony is gaining almost 3 percent, Canon is advancing more than 2 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is rising almost 1 percent.

Panasonic is losing almost 8 percent after the company reported a fall in profit for the six months ended September amid sluggish sales of consumer electronics.

In the tech sector, Advantest is gaining almost 4 percent, while Tokyo Electron is lower by more than 4 percent and conglomerate SoftBank is falling almost 8 percent.

Among auto makers, Toyota is down 0.4 percent, while Honda is advancing more than 1 percent. In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is losing 0.6 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is edging down less than 0.1 percent.

In the oil space, Inpex is lower by 0.5 percent and Japan Petroleum is down almost 1 percent after crude oil prices fell for a third straight session overnight.

Among the other major gainers, Taiyo Yuden is gaining almost 13 percent, TDK Corp. is advancing almost 11 percent and Konami Holdings is rising almost 8 percent.

On the flip side, Mitsui E&S Holdings is falling more than 18 percent, Nisshinbo Holdings is lower by more than 16 percent and KDDI Corp. is losing 15 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 112 yen-range on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks extended gains on Wednesday, partly reflecting a positive reaction to the latest earnings news from several big-name companies. Buying interest was also generated in reaction to a report from payroll processor ADP showing stronger than expected private sector job growth in the month of October.

The Dow jumped 241.12 points or 1 percent to 25,115.76, the Nasdaq soared 144.25 points or 2 percent to 7,305.90 and the S&P 500 surged up 29.11 points or 1.1 percent to 2,711.74.

The major European markets also showed significant moves to the upside on Wednesday. While the French CAC 40 Index surged up by 2.3 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index jumped by 1.4 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices fell for a third straight session on Wednesday as data from U.S. Energy Information Administration showed crude stockpiles increased last week, rising for a sixth successive week. WTI crude for December declined $0.87 or 1.3 percent to close at $65.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.