Tokyo investors eye Fed meeting, Japan earnings next week

GMT 15:04 2015 Friday ,24 April

Arab Today, arab today Tokyo investors eye Fed meeting, Japan earnings next week

Tokyo stocks
Tokyo - AFP

A US central bank meeting and Japanese earnings will be among the trading cues for investors next week after Tokyo's benchmark index broke through the key 20,000 level in the past few days.

Markets are keen to see what the Federal Reserve says about an interest rate hike after a mixed bag of data threw into question the strength of the world's top economy.

"It is going to be an eventful week and one of the key events is the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee)" meeting, said Toshikazu Horiuchi, a broker at IwaiCosmo Securities.

"We don't expect any (policy) change this time, but we want to see what is in the Fed's post-meeting statement.

"The Bank of Japan will also hold a board meeting. I don't think there will be any surprises either, but we cannot relax before seeing its decision."

US quarterly growth figures, Japan's factory output for March, and earnings from a string of major firms including Sony, Honda, Panasonic and Japan Airlines will also be in focus.

On Friday, Tokyo stocks fell 0.83 percent, ending a three-day winning streak that pushed the benchmark index above the 20,000 level for the first time in 15 years, despite a fresh record close for the Nasdaq on Wall Street.

The Nikkei 225 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange lost 167.61 points to end at 20,020.04. Over the week it  gained 1.87 percent.

The broader Topix index of all first-section shares eased 0.37 percent, or 6.03 points, to finish at 1,618.84. But it tacked on 1.90 percent this week.

Selling picked up Friday afternoon as investors booked profits while the stronger yen -- a negative for Japanese exporters' profitability -- also held the market back.

The dollar dipped to 119.30 yen from 119.55 yen in New York and 120.10 yen seen earlier Thursday in Asia.

In the US data Thursday showed fresh claims for US unemployment insurance benefits edged up marginally, while sales of new homes plunged in March.

However, the Nasdaq rose 0.42 percent to end above its previous record high set at the peak of the dot-com boom in March 2000. The Dow gained 0.11 percent and the S&P added 0.24 percent.

Weak data out of China and Japan has also reignited concerns about the state of the global economy.

On Friday, airline shares retreated a day after crude oil hit a four-month high, raising the spectre of increased fuel costs. Japan Airlines dropped 2.93 percent to end at 3,965.0 yen.

Japan's biggest bank Mitsubishi UFJ slipped 0.57 percent to 856.8 yen and Toyota was down 0.77 percent at 8,413.0 yen, but mobile carrier SoftBank ticked up 0.51 percent to 7,747.0 yen.


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