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Tokyo stocks close lower as BoJ meets

Jul 30 2018 09:42

Tokyo stocks closed lower on Monday in cautious trade as the Bank of Japan began a two-day meeting, and investors looked ahead to the US Federal Reserve's meeting later this week.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended down 0.74% at 22 544.84, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.43% to 1 768.15.

"Lacklustre trading continued as investors want to know the results of Japanese and US central bankers' policy decisions," Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities, said in a commentary.

Local media reports over the weekend said the central bank is likely to lower its forecast for inflation in the current and next fiscal year, and potentially make minor changes to its massive easing policy.

Meanwhile, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin offered assurances Sunday over the independence of the Federal Reserve as it heads into a two-day policy meeting that is expected to leave interest rates untouched despite a booming US economy.

Presidents usually refrain from public comment on the Fed's business, but that did not stop US President Donald Trump from publicly chastising the bank earlier this month for its rate hikes.

The Fed is expected to hold its fire on interest rates at its two-day policy-setting meeting, which begins Tuesday.

The dollar changed hands at ¥111.05 in late Tokyo hours, against ¥110.00 in New York late on Friday.

In Tokyo, Mitsubishi Electric fell 1.54% to ¥1 527 and game giant Nintendo lost 0.94% to end at ¥37 540.

Market heavyweight and Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing closed down 1.95% at ¥47 730.

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equities  |  markets  |  tokyo stocks
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