TOKYO: Tokyo stocks gave up early gains to close down 0.17 percent at a two-and-a-half-month low Tuesday as nervous investors await the outcome of a US Federal Reserve policy meeting.
The benchmark Nikkei-225 index slipped 25.57 points to 14,980.16, the first time it has ended below 15,000 since mid-November, while the Topix index of all first-section shares fell 0.40 percent, or 4.92 points, to 1,224.31.
"Players are in a wait-and-see mode," said an equity trading director at a foreign brokerage.
"Right now they are looking for any kind of transparency to provide a guide as to which way to bet."
The Fed on Wednesday wraps up a two-day meeting and investors will be looking to see if it announces any further cuts to its stimulus. There are fears such a move could fuel a capital flight from emerging markets as dealers look for safer investments.
The US central bank last month said it would reduce its bond-buying by $10 billion-a-month from January to $75 billion, citing a pick-up in the world's biggest economy.
In Tokyo shares trade, Nintendo slumped 4.07 percent to 12,720 yen after Goldman Sachs cuts its rating to sell from neutral. Last week, the videogame giant surprised investors by warning it would slip back into the red in this fiscal year on poor sales of its Wii U game console.
Industrial machinery maker Komatsu rose 1.03 percent to 2,048 yen after its US peer Caterpillar reported stellar business results on Monday.
Sony fell 2.68 percent to 1,665 yen in reaction to Moody's cutting the electronics giant's credit rating to junk over concerns about its restructuring plan. The announcement came late Monday after the Tokyo market had closed.
In forex markets, the dollar fetched 102.59 yen, up slightly from 102.56 yen in New York Monday afternoon. (AFP)