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 February 3, 2016 - 11:54 AM EST
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Japanese Market Declines On Stronger Yen

TOKYO
(dpa-AFX) - The Japanese stock market is down with modest losses on Thursday, following the mixed lead from Wall Street and the yen's appreciation against the
U.S.
dollar. Investors also digested weak earnings outlook from major companies.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is declining 55.99 points or 0.33 percent to 17,135.26, off a low of 16,941.88 earlier.

Among the major exporters, Toshiba is lower by more than 1 percent ahead of the announcement of its earnings results. The Nikkei business daily reported that Toshiba is likely to now project a group net loss of more than 600 billion yen for fiscal 2015, compared to its current forecast for a loss of 550 billion yen.

Panasonic and Hitachi are down more than 7 percent and 10 percent respectively after lowering their earnings forecast for the full year, while Canon is adding 0.9 percent, Sony is up 0.5 percent and Casio Computer is rising almost 3 percent.

In the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Resona Holdings are advancing more than 1 percent each.

Oil stock Inpex is rising almost 2 percent and JX Holdings is up more than 4 percent.

Among the other major losers, IHI Corp. is down almost 9 percent and JTEXT is declining more than 2 percent.

On the economic front, the Bank of Japan will release the minutes from its monetary policy meeting on December 17. At that meeting, the central bank kept its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 0 percent to 0.1 percent. It also said to hold its target of raising the monetary base at an annual pace of about 80 trillion yen.

In the currency market, the

U.S.
dollar traded in the lower 118 yen-level on Thursday, down from Wednesday's close in the upper 119 yen-range in
Tokyo
.

On Wall Street, stocks showing wild swings before ending the session mixed on Wednesday. The volatility came as traders digested the release of a mixed batch of

U.S.
economic data as well as a sharp jump in the price of crude oil.

While the Nasdaq fell 12.71 points or 0.3 percent to 4,504.24, the Dow jumped 183.12 points or 1.1 percent to 16,336.66 and the S&P 500 climbed 9.50 points or 0.5 percent to 1,912.53.

The major European markets showed steep drops on Wednesday. While the German DAX Index tumbled by 1.5 percent, the

U.K.'s
FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index plunged by 1.4 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices rallied Wednesday, taking back steep losses from the previous two sessions as the dollar weakened. Crude for March delivery surged up $2.40 or 8.03 percent to settle at $32.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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Source: Equities.com News (February 3, 2016 - 11:54 AM EST)

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