RTTNews - The Japanese stock market opened lower on Thursday, as stock prices fell in early trading on concerns over the pace of economic recovery and a stronger yen. With no significant triggers around to guide them, investors appear keen on taking some profits after recent gains.

The benchmark index Nikkei 225 which opened with a negative gap at 9,280 and dropped down to 9190, is currently trading at 9221, down 122.14 points or 1.31% from its previous close.

The Nikkei had ended the previous session with a gain of 54.35 points or 0.59% at 9,345.

While non-ferrous metals and mining shares are trading firm, shares from financial, real estate, automobile and electronics sectors are exhibiting weakness. Foods, chemicals, construction, and pharmaceuticals stocks are also trading sharply lower.

Non-ferrous metals Sumitomo Metal Mining, Mitsubishi Materials, DOWA Holdings, Mitsui Mining and Smelting, Toho Zinc and Furukawa are trading sharply higher this morning.

Among automobile stocks, Hondo Motor Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and Fuji Heavy Industries are trading with sharp losses. Suzuki Motor Corp., Hino Motors and Mitsubishi Motors, Isuzu Motors and Nissan Motor are also trading weak.

In the banking space, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Resona Holdings, Chiba Bank, Shizuoka Bank, Chuo Mitsui Trust Holdings and Mizuho Financial Group are trading with notable losses. However, Fukuoka Financial Group has bucked the trend and is trading sharply higher.

Shares of Sharp Corp. fell by over 2% and are still trading weak on doubts over the firm's LCD Venture with Sony Corp. Sony Corp. is reported to be planning to reduce by half the number of suppliers from whom it is procuring parts and materials. In March 2008, the two firms had agreed to jointly produce panels starting April this year but due to weak economic conditions, they decided to delay the launch to sometime by March 2010.

In the currency market, the Yen is trading stronger at 94.41 to the U.S. dollar.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, New Zealand and Korea are trading sharply lower this morning. Shanghai is trading flat, while Taiwan is up with modest gains.

Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region had finished mixed on Wednesday. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.5 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.3 percent.

On Wall Street, stocks failed to sustain gains and ended modestly lower on Wednesday with several participants choosing to stay away from the market after recent gains. The U.S. treasury secretary, while sounding optimistic regarding the recovery of the much-battered financial sector, said a full recovery will take time.

The major averages all closed slightly lower after a late day sell-off dragged the indices into negative territory. The Dow closed lower by 52.81 points at 8422.04, the Nasdaq finished down by 6.70 points at 1727.84, and the S&P 500 slipped by 4.66 points to 903.47.

Oil prices registered fresh six-month intra-day highs and closing highs, spurred by a second straight decline in weekly inventories. Crude oil inventories fell by 2.1 million barrels in the week ended May 15. Experts had forecast a decline of about 1.5 million barrels of crude oil. Crude contracts settled more than 3% higher at just above $62 per barrel.

Major European markets closed Wednesday's session mixed. The French CAC 40 Index finished up 0.8 percent and the German DAX Index also closed up, rising by 1.6 percent on the session. On the other hand, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index closed down by 0.3 percent.

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