Japanese Market Declines

The Japanese stock market is extending losses on Wednesday from the previous session and the safe-haven yen strengthened following the negative lead overnight from Wall Street after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested he might prefer to wait until after the 2020 presidential elections to strike a trade deal with China.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is lower by 296.53 points or 1.27 percent to 23,083.28, after falling to a low of 23,044.78 earlier. Japanese shares closed lower on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is edging down 0.1 percent and Fast Retailing is falling more than 4 percent.

The major exporters are mostly lower on a stronger yen. Sony is losing more than 1 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is declining almost 1 percent and Canon is down 0.3 percent, while Panasonic is edging up 0.1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is losing almost 3 percent and Tokyo Electron is declining more than 1 percent. Among auto stocks, Honda Motor is lower by more than 1 percent, while Toyota Motor is edging up 0.1 percent.

In the oil sector, Inpex and Japan Petroleum are declining more than 1 percent each.

Among the major losers, Taiyo Yuden is losing almost 4 percent and Nomura Holdings is lower by more than 3 percent. Concordia Financial, AGC, Chiba Bank and Sumitomo Metal Mining are all declining almost 3 percent each.

On the economic front, the latest survey from Jibun Bank showed that the services sector in Japan moved back into expansion in November, albeit barely, with a PMI score of 50.3. That's up from 49.8 and it moves back above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

The survey also showed that the composite index moved up to 49.8 in November from 49.1 in October.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid 108 yen-range on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed lower on Tuesday for the third straight session amid renewed trade concerns after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested he might prefer to wait until after the 2020 elections to strike a trade deal with China. The comments from the president added to rising trade concerns after his administration threatened to impose duties of up to 100 percent on $2.4 billion in French imports, including champagne and handbags.

After hitting its lowest intraday level in a month, the Dow pared its losses but still tumbled 280.23 points or 1 percent to 27,502.81. The Nasdaq fell 47.34 points or 0.6 percent to 8,520.64 and the S&P 500 slid 20.67 points or 0.7 percent to 3,093.20.

The major European markets turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday. While the German DAX Index edged up by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index slumped by 1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index tumbled by 1.8 percent.

Crude oil prices recovered from an early move to the downside to close modestly higher on Tuesday. WTI crude oil for January delivery added $0.14 or 0.3 percent to close at $56.10 a barrel.

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