Tokyo stocks close lower as BoJ holds rates

 21 Dec 2017 - 13:16

Tokyo stocks close lower as BoJ holds rates


Tokyo: Tokyo's main stock market closed lower Thursday, tracking a fall on Wall Street, while traders were unmoved by the Bank of Japan's decision to keep its ultra-loose monetary policy in place.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.11 percent, or 25.62 points, to 22,866.10 but the broader Topix index was up 0.08 percent, or 1.45 points, at 1,822.61.

Sentiment sagged after Wall Street shares paused for breath on Wednesday following recent record-setting gains, with a long-awaited US tax cut plan moving near the finish line.

Earlier Thursday, the Bank of Japan left its loose monetary policy unchanged as inflation remains stubbornly low in the world's third-biggest economy.

"The market largely ignored the decision, although the decision at least eased concerns over a change in its policy," said Hikaru Sato, senior technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.

"The Tokyo market is still in a transition period following its recent strong gains," Sato told AFP.

Some exporters gained ground as the yen was lower against the dollar after the US Congress passed the sweeping tax reform, which President Donald Trump promised would deliver a shot in the arm for the world's largest economy.

A cheaper yen is positive for Japanese exporters as it boosts their profitability.

The dollar was changing hands at 113.39 yen, slightly lower than 113.40 yen in New York but still up from rates below the 113 mark when Tokyo closed on Wednesday.

Uniqlo chain operator Fast Retailing dropped 1.41 percent to 44,600 yen while Panasonic was unchanged at 1,661.5 yen.

Subaru rose 0.86 percent to 3,508 yen following a plunge earlier this week on allegations that the automaker may have cheated on fuel efficiency data.

Toyota, which expects record global sales for 2018, gained 0.52 percent to 7,288 yen.