Tokyo stocks close 0.49pc lower
October 29, 2013 - 9:17:05 am
TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed down 0.49 percent Tuesday on profit-taking after a strong rally the previous day as investors await the outcome of a two-day Fed policy meeting.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 70.06 points to 14,325.98, after jumping 2.19 percent Monday, while the Topix index of all first-section shares lost 0.41 percent, or 4.86 points, to 1,193.50.
"Nothing news-breaking out of the Fed is really expected, but overseas players are reticent to trade nonetheless before the central bank speaks and also before the earnings season peak on Wednesday-Thursday," an equity trading director at a foreign brokerage told Dow Jones Newswires.
While analysts widely expect the Fed to keep its $85 billion a month asset-buying programme in place, they will be poring over Wednesday's announcement for clues as to when it will start winding it down.
The bank had been expected to begin tapering by the end of this year but a weak set of data, including soft jobs growth, and this month's two-week government shutdown has made that highly unlikely.
Tokyo's flat performance Tuesday morning followed a quiet session on Wall Street where the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged down just 0.01 percent to 15,568.93.
Japanese earnings season kicks into high gear this week with Sony, Honda, Toshiba and Japan Airlines (JAL) among the firms reporting fiscal half-year results.
JAL shares fell 2.06 percent to 5,690 yen after the leading Nikkei business daily said the airline would report a 15 percent decline in operating profit on higher fuel costs and airport usage fees.
Fukushima operator Tokyo Electric Power jumped 3.50 percent to 532 yen after the Nikkei said it had likely swung to a pre-tax profit of 120 billion yen in the April-September period.
In forex trade, the dollar fetched 97.55 yen in Tokyo, down from 97.66 yen in New York Monday afternoon. (AFP)