Tokyo shares flat ahead of US Fed meeting


Tokyo | AFP

Tokyo stocks gave up earlier gains and ended barely moved on Wednesday in cautious trade ahead of a closely watched US Federal Reserve policy meeting.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index inched down 6.76 points to 29,914.33, while the broader Topix index returned to positive territory in the final minutes, adding 0.13 percent, or 2.53 points, to 1,984.03.

The dollar fetched 109.16 yen, against 109.00 yen in New York late Tuesday.

Most dealers took a wait-and-see approach before the Fed concludes its two-day meeting later in the day.

The Bank of Japan will also hold its policy meeting on Thursday and Friday, when governor Haruhiko Kuroda is scheduled to meet the press.

Early gains were driven by high-tech firms on bargain-buying but profit-takers later moved in.

“The market enjoyed solid gains (in the morning) as many expected the market would digest the (Fed) meeting without a hitch,” Okasan Online Securities said.

But traders “wanted to see the outcomes of major events in Japan and the US” before attempting to drive the Nikkei possibly above the 30,000 mark, the brokerage said.

Among notable losers were shares that react sensitively to economic momentum, such as steel and machinery makers, analysts said.

Nippon Steel lost 3.29 percent to 1,780.5 yen industrial robot maker Fanuc fell 0.68 percent to 26,995 yen and endoscope maker Olympus gave up 1.50 percent to 2,325.5 yen. 

Uniqlo-operator Fast Retailing added 0.85 percent to 96,000 yen, Panasonic rose 1.10 percent to 1,379.5 yen and Toyota edged up 0.47 percent to 8,308 yen.