Tokyo stocks close lower with BoJ comments in focus

Written by The Frontier Post

TOKYO (AFP/APP): Tokyo stocks closed lower on Tuesday as investors awaited a press conference by the Bank of Japan’s governor after the central bank revised up inflation forecasts.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index closed down 0.27 percent or 76.27 points at 28,257.25, while the broader Topix index ended down 0.42 percent or 8.33 points at 1,978.38.
“After the Bank of Japan announced it was keeping its monetary policy unchanged, the focus is on how to interpret the Bank’s revision of inflation forecasts,” Mutsumi Kanamori, a strategist at Daiwa Securities, said in a commentary.
During late morning Tokyo trade, Japan’s central bank said it had revised up its inflation forecast and adjusted its view of price risks, while leaving its monetary easing policy in place in a nod to lingering pandemic uncertainty.
Investors were awaiting bank governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s press conference after the market close “to confirm the Bank of Japan’s mid- to long-term policy” as pressure to fight inflation in other developed economies grows, she added.
The situation in Japan is different, as even the revised inflation estimates still fall well below the bank’s long-held two percent target.
Among major shares in Tokyo, Shionogi was down 1.23 percent at 7,388 yen despite a report the drugmaker has entered into the final phase of clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine it is developing.
Panasonic was down 0.72 percent at 1,318.5 yen and investment giant SoftBank Group was off 0.40 percent at 5,508 yen.
But Uniqlo casual wear operator Fast Retailing rallied 2.37 percent to 66,640 yen, and industrial robot maker Fanuc was up 0.52 percent at 23,020 yen.
The dollar fetched 114.83 yen in Asian trade, against 114.58 yen late Monday in London.

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