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Japanese stock market extends losses to a third straight day

Japanese stock market

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index shed 0.31 percent to 27,074.64, after hitting a low of 27,064.08

The Japanese stock market is extending losses to a third straight day on Wednesday in choppy trade despite the overnight gains on Wall Street, while the yen strengthened against the U.S. dollar amid worries about the economic impact from the month-long state of emergency planned by the Japanese government to contain the coronavirus surge in the country.

Investors also remained cautious as they awaited the results of two key Senate runoffs in Georgia. The elections will determine how much U.S. President-elect Joe Biden can push through Democrats’ agenda, including rewriting the tax code as well as boosting stimulus and infrastructure spending.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 83.99 points or 0.31 percent to 27,074.64, after touching a low of 27,064.08. Japanese stocks closed modestly lower on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is rising more than 2 percent, while Fast Retailing is declining more than 1 percent. In the tech space, Advantest is lower by almost 2 percent and Tokyo Electron is declining more than 1 percent.

The major exporters are mixed on a stronger yen. Sony is declining almost 1 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is down 0.6 percent, while Canon is rising almost 1 percent and Panasonic is edging up 0.1 percent.

Among automakers, Honda is advancing almost 1 percent and Toyota is adding 0.2 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is higher by more than 1 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is adding almost 1 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Nikon Corp. is gaining almost 6 percent, while Z Holdings, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha and Inpex are rising almost 5 percent each. Mitsui Mining & Smelting is higher by almost 4 percent.

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