Japanese Market Modestly Higher

The Japanese stock market is modestly higher on Tuesday despite the negative cues overnight from Wall Street. Investors are cautious following news that the U.S. and Japan have started high-level trade talks in Washington aimed at creating a bilateral trade framework.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 56.37 points or 0.25 percent to 22,225.48, after touching a low of 22,095.32 in early trades. Japanese shares touched a four-month high on Monday.

The major exporters are higher on a slightly weaker yen. Sony is advancing almost 2 percent, Canon is rising almost 1 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is higher by 0.4 percent and Panasonic is adding 0.2 percent.

In the tech sector, Advantest is declining 0.2 percent, while Tokyo Electron is up 0.3 percent. Among the major automakers, Honda is unchanged, while Toyota is edging down 0.1 percent.

In the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is declining more than 1 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is down 0.4 percent. In the oil sector, Inpex is losing more than 1 percent and Japan Petroleum is down 0.2 percent after crude oil prices declined overnight.

Among the other major gainers, Chiyoda Corp. is rising almost 8 percent, KDDI Corp. is gaining almost 6 percent and NTT Docomo is higher by almost 4 percent.

In response to the Japanese government urging telecom carries to lower service fees, mobile carrier NTT Docomo said Monday it will cut its mobile phone fees by up to 40 percent from June 2019.

On the flip side, Toho Co. is lower by almost 3 percent, while Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Credit Saison and Hino Motors are all losing more than 2 percent each.

In economic news, Japan will see February numbers for its tertiary industry index and March figures for condominium sales today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar

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