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Japanese Market Pares Some Gains After Bright Start

 After opening on a bright note on the back of Wall Street's positive close overnight, the Japanese stock market pared most of its early gains Wednesday, with investors turning a bit cautious and taking some profits.

Pharmaceuticals, foods, electric machinery, non-ferrous metals and insurance stocks opened on a firm note, but are currently off their early highs.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which spurted to 14,800 in early trades, dropped down to 14,713 subsequently and is currently trading at 14,743, up 29.8 points or 0.2 percent from its previous close.

IHI Corp., Nippon Electric Glass, Softbank Corp., Nippon Sheet Glass and Astellas Pharma are up 3 to 3.6 percent.

Chubu Electric Power, Tokyo Electric Power, Sumitomo Metal Mining, Ricoh, Sumitomo Heavy Industries and Ube Industries are all trading higher by over 2 percent. Nippon Yusen KK, Nikon Corp., Sumitomo Electric Industries, Matsui Securities, Komatsu, Chiyoda Corp., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Asahi Glass and Casio Computer are also trading notably higher.

JFE Holdings is adding 0.8 percent following the company reporting better than expected results for the April to September half-year period.

Among the losers, Nitto Denko Corp. is down 5.8 percent, Amada Co., Mitsumi Electric, Daikin Industries and Yokagwa Electric are trading lower by 1.8 to 2 percent, and Pioneer Corp. is down 1.5 percent. Fujitsu, Yahoo Japan, Showa Shell KK, Sumco Corp., Canon Inc. (CAJ) and Resona Holdings are also trading lower.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the lower 98 yen range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 98.10 to the U.S. dollar.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore are trading firm. Shanghai and Taiwan are up marginally, while South Korea is slightly weak.

On Wall Street, stocks moved mostly higher on Tuesday, with investors reacting positively to the weaker than expected September jobs report, expecting the U.S. Federal Reserve to extend its asset purchase program until early next year.

The Dow rose 75.5 points or 0.5 percent to 15,467.7, the Nasdaq edged up 9.5 points or 0.2 percent to 3,929.6 and the S&P 500 climbed 10 points or 0.6 percent to a new record closing high of 1.754.7.

Major European markets too closed higher on Tuesday. While the German DAX index advanced by 0.9 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index and the French CAC 40 index gained 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

U.S. crude oil plummeted to end at a near four-month low on Tuesday, as demand growth concerns grew after some soft jobs data out of the U.S. Oil prices were under pressure on the downbeat data with the dollar weakening against some major currencies.

Crude for December delivery plummeted $1.38 or 1.4 percent to close at $98.30 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude Oil futures for November delivery plunged $1.42 or 1.4 percent to close at $97.80 a barrel.

by RTT Staff Writer