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Japanese Market Drifts Lower

The Japanese stock market drifted lower on Friday after opening higher following the overnight rebound on Wall Street. Meanwhile, a weaker yen boosted exporters’ shares.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is down 28.79 points or 0.15 percent to 19,525.07, after rising to a high of 19,599.99 in early trades.

The major exporters are mostly higher on a weaker yen. Panasonic is advancing almost 1 percent, Sony is adding 0.6 percent and Toshiba is rising 0.3 percent, while Canon is down almost 1 percent.

The Nikkei business daily reported that U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital will tender a bid for Toshiba’s memory chip unit that will leave a substantial stake of the unit in Toshiba’s hands.

Among automakers, Toyota is adding 0.4 percent, while Honda is down 0.4 percent.
Four automakers – Toyota, BMW, Mazda and Subaru – have agreed to a $553 million settlement to address class-action economic loss claims covering owners of nearly 16 million recalled vehicles with potentially defective Takata airbag inflators.

Shares of Takata are gaining more than 20 percent and Mazda is advancing almost 1 percent, while Subaru is down 0.2 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is rising 0.5 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is up 1 percent.

In the oil space, Inpex is rising almost 2 percent and JXTG Holdings is adding 0.5 percent on higher crude oil prices.

Among the other major gainers, Tokyo Electron is rising more than 2 percent and Dai-ichi Life Holdings is up 2 percent. On the flip side, Osaka Gas is losing more than 4 percent, SKY Perfect JSAT Holdings is down 4 percent and Toppan Printing is lower by more than 3 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the lower 111 yen-range on Friday.

On Wall Street, stocks rebounded Thursday on bargain hunting following the release of some upbeat economic data, including a report from the Labor Department showing another unexpected drop in initial jobless claims in the week ended May…

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