Tokyo stocks close up 0.93pc

June 18, 2014 - 10:39:51 am

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed up 0.93 percent on Wednesday with a stronger dollar supporting exporters, as investors wait for the US Federal Reserve to wrap up a policy meeting later in the day.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 139.83 points to finish 15,115.80 and the Topix index of all first-section issues ended up 0.88 percent, or 10.95 points, at 1,249.15.

Trading volume was low as many investors kept to the sidelines ahead of the Fed's policy decision and subsequent press conference.

"There is currently no clear direction to the market, and people want to know what to expect, especially since the BoJ (Bank of Japan) seems content to do nothing to help stocks," an equity-trading director at a European brokerage told Dow Jones Newswires.

The BoJ last week held off expanding its stimulus programme and said the world's number three economy was recovering, despite fears a recent sales tax rise will dent growth.

The Fed is not expected to make any changes to current policy -- the federal funds rate will remain near zero and the monthly stimulus bond buying will likely be tapered back another $10 billion to $35 billion, on track to be wound up later this year.

But dealers will pore over its economic projections for clues to when the central bank would start hiking interest rates.

Policymakers will be taking into account data Tuesday that showed US inflation at 2.1 percent in May, its highest level since October 2012.

In foreign exchange trade, the dollar bought 102.27 yen in Tokyo, against 102.13 yen late in New York.

Major Japanese exporters rose on the weaker yen, which boosts their profitability. Toyota shares rose 1.06 percent to 5,884 yen and Canon rose 0.32 percent to 3,402 yen.

Heavyweight issues also climbed, with mobile carrier SoftBank rising 1.69 percent to 7,610 yen. (AFP)