Japanese Market Slightly Lower
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The Japanese stock market is slightly lower on Wednesday, giving up some of the gains in the previous three sessions, with the Nikkei 225 staying below the 27,300 level, following the mostly negative cues from global markets overnight, as traders indulged in profit taking after the recent rally amid optimism the US Fed will scale down the pace of its interest rate hikes.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 9.94 points or 0.04 percent at 27,289.48, after hitting a low of 27,175.88 earlier. Japanese stocks ended sharply higher on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is flat, while Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is edging up 0.5 percent. Among automakers, Honda is flat, while Toyota is edging down 0.3 percent.

In the tech space, Screen Holdings and Tokyo Electron are edging down 0.2 percent each, while Advantest is losing almost 2 percent.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Mizuho Financial are all relatively flat.

Among the major exporters, Mitsubishi Electric is gaining more than 1 percent, while Panasonic and Canon are adding almost 1 percent each. Sony is edging down 0.3 percent.

Among the other major losers, Nidec is losing 5.5 percent.

Conversely, Dai Nippon Printing is soaring more than 11 percent and Suzuki Motor is gaining more than 4 percent, while Toppan and Nippon Steel are adding almost 4 percent. Tokyo Electric Power is up almost 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 130 yen-range on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, stocks turned in a relatively lackluster performance during trading on Tuesday after moving sharply higher for two straight sessions. The major averages fluctuated over the course of the session before eventually closing mixed.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 30.14 points or 0.3 percent to 11,334.27 after leading the two-day rally. The S&P 500 also edged down 2.86 points or 0.1 percent to 4,016.95, while the Dow rose 104.40 points or 0.3 percent to 33,733.96.

The major European markets also turned in a mixed performance on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.3 percent, the German DAX Index edged down by 0.1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.4 percent.

Crude oil prices fell sharply Tuesday on concerns about the outlook for demand due to a potential recession in Europe and the U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for March ended lower by $1.49 or 1.8 percent at $80.13 a barrel.

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