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Japanese Market Modestly Higher

(RTTNews) - The Japanese stock market is modestly higher on Monday despite the negative cues from Wall Street on Friday and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit after the British parliament delayed a vote on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's new Brexit deal. Investors also digested data showing that Japan recorded an unexpected trade deficit in the month of September.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 43.28 points or 0.19 percent to 22,535.96, after rising to a high of 22,550.69 earlier.

The major exporters are mostly higher despite a stronger safe-haven yen. Canon is rising almost 2 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is adding almost 1 percent and Panasonic is adding 0.6 percent, while Sony is down 0.3 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is adding more than 1 percent, while Tokyo Electron is up 1 percent. Among auto stocks, Honda Motor is lower by 0.2 percent, while Toyota Motor is adding 0.4 percent.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group is losing almost 2 percent and Fast Retailing is declining more than 1 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Sumitomo Metal Mining, Oji Holdings and Daiwa House Industry are rising more than 2 percent each.

On the flip side, Mitsui OSK Lines is losing almost 3 percent and NTN Corp. is lower by more than 1 percent.

In economic news, the Ministry of Finance said that Japan had a merchandise trade deficit of 123.0 billion yen in September. That missed expectations for a surplus of 54.0 billion yen, following the 143.5 billion yen shortfall in August.

Exports were down 5.2 percent on year, shy of forecasts for a drop of 3.6 percent following the 8.2 percent slide in the previous month. Imports fell an annual 1.5 percent versus expectations for a decline of 2.8 percent after tumbling 11.9 percent a month earlier.

Japan will also release August numbers for its all industry activity index today.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the lower 108 yen-range on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks closed lower on Friday, partly reflecting concerns about the global economic outlook after data showed that China's economy grew at the slowest rate in nearly three decades in the third quarter. Lingering uncertainty about a possible U.S.-China trade deal and questions about the Brexit deal getting through British parliament also weighed on the markets.

The Dow ended the day down 255.68 points or 1 percent at 26,770.20, the Nasdaq slid 67.31 points or 0.8 percent to 8,089.54, and the S&P 500 fell 11.75 points or 0.4 percent to 2,986.20.

The major European markets also moved to the downside on Friday. The French CAC 40 Index slid by 0.7 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.4 percent and the German DAX Index dipped by 0.2 percent.

Crude oil futures settled lower on Friday as disappointing GDP data from China added to concerns about outlook for energy demand. WTI crude for November ended down $0.15 or about 0.3 percent at $53.78 a barrel.
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