RTTNews - The stock market in Japan ended in negative territory on Friday dragged down by automakers following reports that the U.S Government might withdraw the cash for clunkers program as early as next week. Strengthening of the local currency against the US dollar also impacted sentiment.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index ended at 10,238. representing a loss of 145.21 points, or 1.40%, while the broader Topix index of all first section stocks was down 11.25 points, or 1.17%, to 947.

Light sweet crude oil price for September delivery ended at $72.49 a barrel in electronic trading, down $0.42 from its previous close $72.91 a barrel in New York on Thursday.

Reports in the U.S., which is the major market for Japanese automakers, that the popular cash for clunkers program would end by August 24 lead automakers lower. Toyota Motor Co., maker of the Prius hybrid and Corolla cars, declined 2.93%, Honda Motor fell 4.06%, Nissan Motor slumped 5.18% and Hino Motors lost 2.56%.

Exporters declined following the strengthening of the local currency against the US dollar. Sony Corp. declined 1.41%.

Metal stocks ended weaker following drop in commodity prices. Sumitomo Metal Mining lost 3.39%, Sumitomo Electric Industries fell 3.33% and Mitsui Mining & Smelting slumped 4.69%.

In the U.S., stocks ended in positive territory for the third straight session on Thursday helped by positive economic data related to manufacturing sector that more than offset a disappointing weekly jobless claims report. The Dow closed up by 70.89 points or 0.8% at 9,350, the Nasdaq climbed by 19.98 points or 1% to 1,989 and the S&P 500 rose by 10.91 points or 1.1% to 1,007.

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