December 14, 2016 10:40:08 am
Japan’s Nikkei slipped on Wednesday as the market braced for the Federal Reserve’s policy decision, due later in the session, that should signal the near-term direction for risk assets. The Nikkei was down 0.1 per cent at 19,235.46 when the morning session ended. The index opened marginally higher, brushing a one-year high of 19,284.28, after Wall Street shares again closed at record highs overnight. But then the Nikkei drifted into negative territory.
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Focus was squarely on the US central bank and how its decision could impact the currency market. “A wait-and-see mood is prevailing ahead of the Fed’s decision. The Nikkei is also above 19,000 and there is a sense of accomplishment in the market,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.
“The biggest focal point is how the dollar reacts on the Fed meeting, which is one of the last big events of the year. We are likely to see action in the markets peter out after this.” The Fed is widely expected to hike interest rates by 25 basis points. Investor focus has moved on to whether Donald Trump’s U.S. election win has affected the central bank’s view on growth, inflation and the pace of rate hikes in 2017.
Building company Token Corporation gained 2.9 percent after its net profit for the May-October period rose 23.3 per cent, thanks to strong construction orders. Daiichi Sankyo Co lost 4.2 per cent after the pharmaceutical company’s research and development meeting on Tuesday was seen to have provided few positive surprises.
The broader Topix lost 0.15 per cent to 1,537.90. Of Tokyo’s 33 sub-indexes, 10 rose and 23 fell. The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was down 0.1 percent at 13,768.77.
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