(RTTNews) – The Japanese stock market is losing on Wednesday after two days of gains and following the mixed lead overnight from Wall Street. Worries about rising bond yields and its impact on riskier assets weighed on the market despite the release of upbeat Japanese economic data.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is declining 224.92 points or 0.74 percent to 30,242.83, after touching a low of 30,191.01 in early trades.
Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is declining more than 1 percent and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is down 0.5 percent. Among automakers, Honda is adding almost 1 percent, while Toyota is down 0.5 percent.
In the tech space, Tokyo Electron is lower by more than 2 percent and Advantest is down 0.6 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is adding 0.3 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is unchanged.
The major exporters are lower even as the yen fell to a four-month low against the U.S. dollar. Panasonic and Sony are declining almost 1 percent each, while Canon and Mitsubishi Electric are edging down 0.1 percent each.
Among the other major gainers, Nippon Steel is gaining almost 5 percent, while NTN Corp., ANA Holdings, Pacific Metals, Idemitsu Kosan, Citizen Watch and Eneos Holdings are rising more than 4 percent each.
Conversely, Bridgestone is losing more than 5 percent, while Cyberagent and M3 are lower by more than 4 percent each. Japan Steel Works and Bandai Namco Holdings are declining almost 4 percent each.
In economic news, the Cabinet Office said that the total value of core machine orders in Japan gained a seasonally adjusted 5.2 percent on month in December, standing at 899.6 billion yen. That beat expectations for a decline of 6.2 percent following the 1.5 percent increase in November.
The Ministry of Finance said Japan posted a merchandise trade deficit of 323.9 billion yen in January. That beat forecasts for a shortfall of 600 billion yen following the 751 billion yen surplus in December.
Exports advanced 6.4 percent on year to 5,779.832 billion yen, shy of expectations for an increase of 6.6 percent but still up from 2.0 percent in the previous month. Imports were down an annual 9.5 percent to 6,103.693 billion yen versus expectations for a decline of 6.0 percent after sinking 11.6 percent a month earlier.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 106 yen-range on Wednesday.
On Wall Street, stocks closed mixed on Tuesday, with the Dow managing to hold onto a modest gain, while the broader Nasdaq and the S&P 500 slid into negative territory. Optimism about additional stimulus from Washington helped prop up the markets in early trading as Democrats continue to move forward with President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion relief package. Buying interest waned over the course of the morning, however, leading some traders to cash in on the recent strength in the markets.
While the Dow crept up 64.35 points or 0.2 percent to a new record closing high of 31,522.75, the Nasdaq fell 47.98 points or 0.3 percent to 14,047.50 and the S&P 500 edged down 2.24 points or 0.1 percent to 3,932.59.
The major European markets turned in a lackluster performance on Tuesday. While the French CAC 40 Index closed just above the unchanged line, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.1 percent and the German DAX Index dipped by 0.3 percent.
Crude oil prices surged higher on Tuesday after a winter storm shut down oil wells and refineries in Texas. WTI crude oil for March delivery climbed $0.58 or about 1 percent to $60.05 a barrel.