Japanese Market Sharply Lower

Japanese Market Sharply Lower

The FINANCIAL -- The Japanese stock market is sharply lower on November 2 after weak economic data out of China and U.S. over the weekend dented investor sentiment. In addition, a stronger yen weighed on exporters' stocks, according to Nasdaq.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is declining 320.74 points or 1.68 percent to 18,762.36, off a low of 18,735.60 earlier.

Among the major exporters, Sony (SNE) is down 1.5 percent, Toshiba is losing 0.6 percent, Canon (CAJ) is lower by 1 percent and Sharp is declining 3.8 percent. Panasonic is down more than 2 percent.

Market heavyweight Fast Retailing is lower by 1.5 percent and mobile carrier SoftBank is declining 0.5 percent.

Among automakers, Toyota (TM) is losing 1 percent, while Honda is down 1.8 percent.

In the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (MTU) is declining 3.6 percent and Mizuho Financial Group (MFG) is down almost 3 percent, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is down 3.2 percent.

GS Yuasa is lower by more than 4 percent, Yamato Holdings is lower by 4 percent and Konica Minolta is down 2 percent.

On the economic front, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed that the manufacturing sector in Japan continued to expand in October, and at an accelerated pace, with a revised PMI score of 52.4.

That's down slightly from last month's preliminary reading of 52.5, but it's sharply higher than September's final reading of 51.0.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the mid 120 yen range on November 2, down from Friday's close in the upper 120 yen range in Tokyo.

On Wall Street, stocks closed lower on October 30 as traders expressed uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets and also digested a mixed batch of U.S. economic data that raised questions about the outlook for interest rates.

The Dow slid 92.26 points or 0.5 percent to 17,663.54, the Nasdaq fell 20.53 points or 0.4 percent to 5,053.75 and the S&P 500 dropped 10.05 points or 0.5 percent to 2,079.36.

The major European markets turned in a mixed performance on October 30. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index dropped by 0.5 percent, the German DAX Index rose by 0.5 percent and the French CAC 40 Index edged up by 0.2 percent.

Crude oil prices rose on October 30 amid word that U.S. producers continue to close down oil rigs amid the ongoing price war with OPEC. WTI crude for December delivery settled at $46.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 53 cents, or 1.2 percent, at a 2-week high.