Tokyo stocks close higher ahead of Fed policy meeting

Madiha Shakeel July 30, 2019

Tokyo: Tokyo stocks closed higher on Tuesday, propped up by investors buying on dips ahead of a central bank decision in the US.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.43 percent or 92.51 to end at 21,709.31, while the broader Topix index was up 0.45 percent or 7.01 points at 1,575.58.

Okasan Online Securities chief strategist Yoshihiro Ito said investors would find it difficult to trade aggressively on Tuesday ahead of events that could sway markets.

US Federal Reserve policymakers will start a two-day meeting later Tuesday amid expectations that they would move for the first interest rate cut in a decade.

Gains in Tokyo trade shrank as once the Bank of Japan announced a status quo rate policy, prompting a strengthening of the yen, Ito said.

The dollar traded at 108.58 yen in Asian trade, against 108.77 yen in New York on Monday afternoon.

The BoJ maintained its ultra easy monetary policy Tuesday and said it would “not hesitate” to take further measures if needed, as lingering economic uncertainties cloud the global outlook.

Some major company earnings results were lacklustre but the market was resilient and prompted those who had sold earlier to buy back, said Seiichi Suzuki, senior market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute.

US and Chinese negotiators meet in Shanghai on Tuesday to resurrect trade talks between the world’s two biggest economies.

Investors are also waiting for US jobs data due out on Friday as they look for clues on the health of the world’s biggest economy.

Japan’s government released a raft of economic data before the opening bell but they hardly provided trading pegs.

The jobless rate slipped to 2.3 percent in June from 2.4 percent in May while factory output fell by 3.6 percent from May.

Automakers were broadly higher with Toyota rising 0.44 percent to 7,180 yen.

Sony inched down 0.08 percent to 5,859 yen before reporting its first quarter net profit was down.

Nintendo climbed 0.66 percent to 40,590 yen. It will announce earnings later Tuesday.

Copyright Reuters, 2019

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