RTTNews - The Japanese market opened modestly higher on Wednesday with investors indulging in selective buying following a positive close on Wall Street overnight on the back of some better-than-expected quarterly earnings from top U.S. retailers.

However, with participants remaining a bit cautious, the market is moving in somewhat choppy fashion this morning. The benchmark index Nikkei, which 10,327 in early trading but fell into the red to 10,265 subsequently, is currently down by 5 points at 10,280. On Tuesday, the Nikkei had ended at 10,285 with a modest gain of 16.35 points or 0.16%.

Bank stocks are trading mostly weak. Construction stocks are also trading mostly lower. Foods and textiles are exhibiting a mixed trend.

Non-ferrous metals stocks SUMCO, Sumitomo Metal Mining, Fujikura and Nippon Light Metal are surging higher.

Machinery stocks Hitachi Construction Machinery, JTEKT, Komatsu and NSK are trading with notable gains. In the electric machinery space, Canon Inc., Advantest Corp., Panasonic Electric Works, Taiyo Yuden, Sharp, Mitsubishi Electric and Fuji Electric Holdings are up by 1% - 4%.

Among automobile stocks, Toyota Motor is trading firm following an announcement from the company that it had received 10,000 orders for the Lexus HS250h hybrid sedan by Sunday, 20 times its monthly sales goal of 500 units.

Honda Motor, Nissan Motor and Mazda Motor are also trading with notable gains while Suzuki Motor and Mitsubishi Motors are up modestly.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the upper 94-yen range early this morning, up slightly from its levels overnight in New York. In early trading, the dollar fetched 94.85-90 yen against Tuesday's close of 94.63-73 yen in New York and 95.09-11 yen in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 94.74 to the U.S. dollar.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia is up sharply. Taiwan, New Zealand and Korea are also trading firm, while the Singapore and Shanghai markets are trading flat. Stock markets across the region had finished on a mixed note Tuesday.

On Wall Street, stocks saw notable strength on Tuesday, partly offsetting the steep losses posted in the previous session amid some encouraging earnings reports. A report from the Commerce Department showed an unexpected decrease in housing starts in the month of July.

The Dow closed up by 82.07 points, or 0.9%, at 9,217, the Nasdaq advanced by 25.08 points, or 1.3%, to 1,956 and the S&P 500 rose by 9.94 points, or 1%, to 990.

Major European markets all ended the day higher, with the French CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rising by 0.6% and 0.5% respectively, while the German DAX index finished up by 0.7%.

Crude oil moved higher with recovering global equities improving the prospects for energy demand. Light sweet crude for September delivery rose to US$69.19, up US$2.44 on the session. Prices hit as high as US$69.58 after earlier hitting a low of US$66.11.

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