Tokyo stocks close down ahead of Fed policy meeting

 14 Jun 2017 - 11:30

Tokyo stocks close down ahead of Fed policy meeting
File Photo.

AFP

Tokyo: Tokyo stocks closed lower Wednesday reversing early gains as investors awaited the outcome of a US central bank meeting later in the day.

While an interest rate rise is widely expected by the Federal Reserve, its statement, and that of its boss Janet Yellen, will be closely inspected for clues about future monetary policy.

"What matters is the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) members' view on future rate hikes, and the bank's balance sheet," Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager of Shinkin Asset Management in Tokyo, told Bloomberg News.

"With inflation slowing, they aren't likely to be in a hurry to tighten, which means the odds are greater for the yen to strengthen than weaken," which is a negative for Japanese shares.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 edged down 0.08 percent, or 15.23 points, to close at 19,883.52, while the broader Topix index of all first-section issues slipped 0.11 percent, or 1.74 points, to 1,591.77.

Bank shares were among losers, with Sumitomo Mitsui falling 0.88 percent to 4,245 yen and rival Mitsubishi UFJ declining 0.64 percent to 729.3 yen.

Toyota slipped 0.25 percent to 5,859 yen, while Toshiba dropped 3.95 percent to 313.3 yen on the back of reports the troubled conglomerate may again delay reporting its earnings results -- putting it risk once again of being delisted from the Tokyo bourse.

But industrial robot maker Fanuc rose 0.65 percent to 21,565 yen and Sony gained 0.56 percent to 4,060 yen, tracking rallies in US technology firms.

Nissan closed up 0.55 percent at 1,081 yen and Honda rose 0.22 percent to 3,084 yen.