RTTNews - The Japanese stock market opened higher on Wednesday following the modest gains overnight on Wall Street. However, the market has pared its gains subsequently, and is trading in negative territory on profit taking.

In mid-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 17.37 points or 0.17% to 10,357.64. The index has gained 31 percent in the past six months.

The Japanese market closed higher on Tuesday, hitting a 10-month high as the Topix index posted its 13th straight session of gains, the longest winning streak since March 1988. The Nikkei 225 index closed higher by 22.54 points or 0.22% at 10,375.01.

U.S. stocks ended Tuesday's trading on a positive note amid some late session buying interest. The major averages all finished in positive territory by moderate margins, building on Monday's strong gains that helped the Nasdaq and S&P 500 indices cross key levels. The Commerce Department's report of an increase in consumer spending and the National Association of Realtors' report of a rise in pending home sales helped buoy the markets.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar was trading in the lower 95 yen-range on Wednesday. In mid-morning trades, the dollar was quoted in a range of 95.26-95.28 yen, up 0.32 yen from Tuesday's close of 94.94-94.95 yen in Tokyo.

Among automakers, Toyota is down more than 1% after the company slipped to its third straight quarterly loss. The company had however forecast a narrower loss for the full year. Honda and Mazda are losing almost 1% each and Suzuki is down 3%. Isuzu, Japan's largest maker of light-duty trucks, is losing almost 6%.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is unchanged, while Mizuho Financial is down 1.30%, Sumitomo Mitsui is losing 0.72% and Resona Holdings is declining 1.08%. Investment bank Nomura Holdings is down almost 1%.

In the oil sector, Nippon Oil is adding 0.19%, while Showa Shell is losing 1.3% and Nippon Mining Holdings is down 0.2%. Trading company Mitsui & Co is up almost 3% and rival Mitsubishi Corp is adding 0.3%.

Chipmaker Elpida on Tuesday reported a group net loss of 44.5 billion yen for the April-June quarter, the smallest loss in three quarters. The loss was however wider than the loss of 13.8 billion yen for the year-ago period. The company's stock is down almost 4%.

Among exporters, Canon is down almost 0.5%, while Sony is adding 0.19%. Sony is expected to announce on Wednesday that it will begin selling later in August the cheapest digital book reader for the United States, taking rival Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle digital reader head-on in the small but fast-growing market for electronic readers.

Toshiba plans to set up a joint venture in China to make small and midsize LCDs for mobile phones in the first half of next year, the Nikkei business daily said on Wednesday. The company's shares are down almost 3%.

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