The Japanese stock market opened weak on Friday with investors pressing sales in early trading following the U.S. government's stress tests revealing that 10 of the 19 banks will have to raise a total of $74.6 billion additional capital in order to weather a further downturn in the economy.
The benchmark index Nikkei 225, which shrugged off a couple of setbacks this morning is down 6.29 points at 9,379.
Bank stocks are trading weak with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Resona Holdings, Sumitomo Trust and Banking Co., Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and Shinsei Bank recording sharp losses.
Automobile stocks are also exhibiting weakness. Toyota Motor Corp., which is scheduled to report results today, is likely to post a group operating loss of 500 billion for the year ended March. The stock is down more due to profit taking than on concerns over results. Hondo Motor, Suzuki Motor and Hino Motors are down with sharp losses. Fuji Heavy Industries, Mazda Motor and Isuzu Motors are also trading lower.
Shares of leading securities firms are down in the red. Insurance stocks Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group Holdings, Sompo Japan Insurance and Tokio Marine Holdings are trading firm.
Pharmaceuticals and communications stocks are trading firm. Oil & coal products are trading mixed. Machinery and steel stocks are trading lower.
In the currency market, the Yen is trading at 99.23 to the U.S. dollar.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan are trading with sharp losses. The Australian market and the Korean stock market are down modestly.
On Thursday, stock markets in the Asia-Pacific region had extended their recent upward moves, with Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index jumping 4.6 percent. Japanese stocks were playing catch-up after the market was closed for the three previous sessions.
The major European markets ended on a mixed note on Thursday after seeing considerable strength earlier in the session. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 posted a modest gain, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index fell 1 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.
Save for a brief while at the start, Wall Street remained in the red and closed with sharp losses on Thursday as participants cashed in on the market's recent gains and took profits ahead of the release of the results of the government's stress tests of the nation's nineteen largest financial institutions.
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