Japanese Market Slips

The Japanese stock market is losing on Friday following the lackluster cues from Wall Street and as investors digested a raft of economic data. In addition, a stronger yen weighed on exporters’ shares.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 97.62 points or 0.49 percent to 19,982.02, off a low of 19,963.96 earlier.

Among the major exporters, Sony is down almost 1 percent, while Panasonic is up 0.1 percent and Canon is advancing almost 1 percent.

Toshiba is losing almost 8 percent amid speculation that the company is at a great risk of being listed following a delay in the sale of the company’s flash memory unit.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that Toshiba has agreed to pay $2.168 billion to SCANA to exit from two incomplete nuclear projects undertaken by Toshiba subsidiary Westinghouse.

Among automakers, Toyota is down 0.1 percent and Honda is edging down less than 0.1 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is declining almost 1 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is unchanged.

In the oil space, Inpex is advancing almost 1 percent and Japan Petroleum is rising 0.5 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Hitachi Construction Machinery and Takara Holdings are gaining almost 4 percent, while GS Yuasa is rising almost 3 percent.

On the flip side, Tokyo Electron is losing more than 6 percent, Fuji Electric is down more than 5 percent and Nissan is lower by more than 5 percent.

On the economic front, overall nationwide consumer prices in Japan gained 0.4 percent on year in June, in line with expectations and unchanged from the previous month.

The unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.8 percent in June, beneath expectations for 3.0 percent and down from 3.1 percent in May.

The average of household spending in Japan was up 2.3 percent on year in June, standing at 268,802 yen. That was well above expectations for an increase of 0.5 percent following the 0.1 percent decline in May.

Retail sales in Japan were up a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent on month in June – shy of expectations for a gain of 0.4 percent following the 1.5 percent decline in May.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the 111 yen-range on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed on Thursday after showing early strength reflecting a positive reaction to earnings news from some big-name companies like Verizon and Facebook. However, traders later took the opportunity to cash in on some of the recent strength in the markets.

The…

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