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 February 7, 2016 - 12:04 PM EST
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Japanese Market Pares Initial Losses

(dpa-AFX) - The Japanese stock market is marginally lower on Monday, paring most of its initial losses. The negative lead from Wall Street following weaker than expected
jobs data and the tumble in crude oil prices weighed on investor sentiment.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is declining 32.38 points or 0.19 percent to 16,787.211, off a low of 16,552.30 earlier.

Among the major exporters, Sony is down more than 2 percent, Panasonic is losing 0.3 percent and Hitachi is declining more than 3 percent. Also, Casio Computer is lower by 0.5 percent and Canon is down 0.4 percent, while Toshiba is adding 0.5 percent.

In the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is lower by almost 2 percent and Resona Holdings is edging down 0.09 percent.

Oil stock Inpex is rising 0.2 percent, while JX Holdings is losing more than 3 percent.

Among the other major gainers, DeNA Co. is rising more than 8 percent, Tokyo Seikan Group is advancing almost 5 percent and Unitika is up 4 percent. Meanwhile, Dow Holdings is falling almost 17 percent, Asahi Glass is declining 13 percent and Sumitomo Metal Mining is down more than 7 percent.

On the economic front, the Ministry of Finance said that

had a current account surplus of 960.7 billion yen in December, up 325.2 percent on year. The headline figure was shy of expectations for 1,051.7 billion yen and down from 1,143.5 billion in November.

The trade balance showed a surplus of 188.7 billion yen - beneath forecast for 305.3 billion but up from the 271.5 billion deficit in the previous month.

Exports were down 11.8 percent on year to 6.247 trillion yen after dipping 6.3 percent in November to 5.923 trillion yen. Imports skidded an annual 18.9 percent to 6.059 trillion yen after tumbling an annual 10.9 percent to 6.194 trillion yen in the previous month.

The Bank of Japan said that the total value of overall bank lending in

was up 2.3 percent on year in January, coming in at 498.470 billion yen. That follows the 2.2 percent increase in December.

In the currency market, the

dollar traded in the upper 116 yen-level on Monday, up slightly from Friday's close.

On Wall Street, stocks fell sharply on Friday following the release of a Labor Department report showing disappointing job growth in January, but also a drop in the unemployment rate to a nearly eight-year low.

While the Nasdaq plummeted 146.42 points or 3.3 percent to 4,363.14, the Dow tumbled 211.75 points or 1.3 percent to 16,204.83 and the S&P 500 dove 35.43 points or 1.9 percent to 1,880.02.

The major European markets all moved to the downside on Friday. While the German DAX Index tumbled by 1.1 percent, the

FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.9 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

Crude oil prices tumbled Friday, extending weekly losses amid dwindling hopes for an OPEC production cut. WTI oil for March settled at $30.89 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 2.6 percent or $0.80.

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Source: News (February 7, 2016 - 12:04 PM EST)

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