Tokyo’s Nikkei ends lower

TOKYO (AFP): Tokyo’s key Nikkei index ended lower Thursday, with investors taking cues from declines in US shares linked to hawkish comments by Federal Reserve officials.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 0.08 percent, or 22.11 points, to end at 27,584.35, while the broader Topix index edged up 0.05 percent, or 1.03 points, to 1,985.00.

The dollar stood at 131.17 yen, against 131.42 yen in New York late Wednesday.
In the United States, markets fell on a raft of hawkish comments from Fed officials that “slowed speculation about the halt of rate hikes”, IwaiCosmo Securities said in a note.

New York Fed chief John Williams, for one, said the policy board needed to “attain a sufficiently restrictive stance of policy” and then “maintain that for a few years to make sure we get inflation to two percent” — the bank’s target.

“A chorus of Fed hawks shared the same message: the fight against inflation is not yet won,” Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said.

Among major shares in Tokyo, Toyota rose 0.18 percent to 1,901 yen.
Earlier in the trading day, the world’s top-selling automaker left its annual forecasts unchanged, saying it expected net profit of 2.36 trillion yen ($18 billion) in the 12 months to March 2023.

Toshiba was down 0.73 percent, to 4,605 yen, after reports it has received a final acquisition proposal from a consortium. After the closing bell, the firm confirmed it had received a proposal but gave no detail on the proposed price.

SoftBank Group rose 0.01 percent to 5,949 yen, and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing was up 0.01 percent to 81,500 yen.

Sony Group trimmed 0.08 percent to 11,945 yen.