(dpa-AFX) - The Japanese stock market pared early gains gains and slipped into negative territory on Wednesday to its lowest level since October 2014, with the lackluster cues overnight from Wall Street and worries about global economic growth denting investor sentiment. The stronger yen too weighed on exporters' stocks.
In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 421.80 points or 2.62 percent to 15,663.64, off a low of 15,626.04 earlier. On Tuesday, the Nikkei index had closed 5.4 percent lower.
Among the major exporters, Sony is declining almost 2 percent and Canon is down almost 3 percent. Meanwhile, Panasonic is adding 0.3 percent, Hitachi is up 0.2 percent and Toshiba is rising 0.8 percent.
In the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is lower by almost 4 percent and Resona Holdings is declining more than 2 percent.
Oil stock Inpex is declining almost 2 percent and JX Holdings is losing almost 3 percent.
Among the other major losers, Toho Zinc is losing almost 6 percent, Shinsei Bank is down 5 percent and Nichirei Corp. is lower by almost 5 percent.
On the economic front, the Bank of Japan said that producer prices in
were down 0.9 percent on month in January. That missed forecasts for a decline of 0.7 percent following the 0.4 percent contraction in December.
On a yearly basis, producer prices skidded 3.1 percent - also shy of expectations for a fall of 2.8 percent following the 3.5 percent decline in the previous month.
will also see January numbers for housing loans and
office vacancies later today.
In the currency market, the
dollar traded in the lower 115 yen
-level on Wednesday, down slightly from Tuesday's close in
On Wall Street, stocks closed modestly lower in a volatile trading session on Tuesday as traders kept a close eye on the price of crude oil and also looked ahead to remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who is scheduled to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.
The Dow edged down 12.67 points or 0.1 percent to 16,014.38, the Nasdaq fell 14.99 points or 0.4 percent to 4,286.76 and the S&P 500 dipped 1.23 points or 0.1 percent to 1,852.21.
The major European markets also showed notable moves to the downside on Tuesday. While the French CAC 40 Index tumbled by 1.7 percent, the German DAX Index and the
100 Index dropped by 1.1 percent and 1 percent, respectively.
Crude oil prices tumbled for a fourth straight session Tuesday amid expectations that global demand for energy products will dwindle this year. Crude for March delivery ended the session down $1.75 or 5.9 percent at $27.94 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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