Tokyo shares close down 0.44pc
August 22, 2013 - 9:13:32 am
TOKYO: Tokyo shares closed 0.44 percent lower Thursday, following the lead of US markets after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting gave traders jitters.
The Nikkei index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange closed 59.16 points lower at 13,365.17, and the Topix index of all first-section shares fell 0.19 percent, or 2.18 points, to 1,119.56.
The fall came after the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.70 percent to 14,897.55 points on Wednesday, while the broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.58 percent to 1,642.80.
Minutes of the July 30-31 meeting of the US Federal Open Market Committee showed the Fed continued to debate the timing of pulling back its $85 billion per month in bond-buying purchases.
"The market is taking the news of tapering easing negatively and overreacting," said Seiichi Suzuki, market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Securities.
He said Japan and other developed economies were gaining support from the outflow of money from emerging markets such as India, Indonesia and Thailand, whose currencies and stock markets have dropped in recent trading.
"We heard a lot of words, but learned nothing from the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee)," said CLSA equity strategist Nicholas Smith.
"Those that believe that bond buying tapering will begin in September still believe that, while those who imagine a later start date remain resolute," Smith added.
In the forex market, the dollar was firmer at 98.17 yen in afternoon Asian trade, up from 97.67 yen in New York Wednesday.
The euro bought $1.3348 and 131.07 yen, compared with $1.3358 and 130.46.
Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) closed down 4.12 percent at 534 yen, after news that some 300 tonnes of radioactive water was believed to have seeped from one of the tanks at its crippled Fukushima plant.
Canon was down 1.22 percent at 2,988 yen and Sony was down 1.60 percent at 1,906 yen, while Honda closed up 0.69 percent at 3,640 yen and Toyota rose 0.33 percent to 6,050. (AFP)