Tokyo’s Nikkei closes down after BoJ policy decision

Economy

Tokyo | AFP

Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei index closed down more than 1.4 percent Friday on profit-taking as some blue-chip shares faced extra pressure after the Bank of Japan’s policy decision.

The Nikkei 225 index lost 1.41 percent, or 424.70 points, to 29,792.05. Over the week, however, it edged up 0.2 percent.

The broader Topix index rose 0.18 percent, or 3.70 points, to 2,012.21 and jumped 3.1 percent from a week earlier.

Japanese shares opened lower as investors locked in profits after a rise in US government bond yields brought the Wall Street stocks rally to an end.

The Bank of Japan said Friday afternoon that it maintained its negative interest rate and tweaked its monetary easing programme to shore up the pandemic-hit economy.

“The decision was largely in line with expectations,” said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.

“But several major companies, including Fast Retailing, faced extra selling pressure as the BoJ said it would narrow a list of shares under its ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) purchases,” Horiuchi told AFP.

“Trading was volatile today and the market’s daily trading range is expected to remain wide for now,” he added.

The dollar fetched 108.86 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 108.90 yen in New York late Thursday.

In Tokyo, Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing slumped 6.09 percent to 91,020 yen as SoftBank Group lost 2.45 percent to 9,969 yen.

But ANA Holdings rose 1.30 percent to 2,803 yen after a report said it is confident about recovery in its freight business.

Japan’s core consumer price index, which excludes fresh food, was down 0.4 percent year-on-year in February, in line with market expectations, according to official data released before the opening bell.

The headline figure did not prompt a strong market reaction.

si/sah/jfx

AFP