TOKYO: Japan’s Nikkei ended flat on Wednesday in cautious trade ahead of a crucial policy decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve where the central bank is expected to signal a faster wind-down of its asset purchases.
The Nikkei share average was flat at 2,8459.72. The broader Topix index ended the session 0.52% higher.
Investors expect the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to adopt a more hawkish tone at the conclusion of their two-day meeting later in the day, quickening the pace at which they taper bond-buying stimulus and potentially setting up earlier interest rate hikes.
“Position adjustments before the FOMC are centerstage, and it’s not possible to discern a direction to the market amid that,” said Hajime Sakai, the chief fund manager at Mito Securities Co in Tokyo.
Toyota was the second-best performer among the 30 core Topix names, notching a 3.59% gain after Japan’s biggest automaker said it would commit about $70 billion to electrify its lineup by 2030.
The announcement lifted shares of its group companies, with Toyota Tsusho and Denso jumping 5.83% and 4.24%, respectively.
The transport equipment sub-index was the Topix’s best performing sector, adding 2.47%.
Shinsei Bank rallied 7.75% to be the Nikkei’s top move after potential acquirer SBI Holdings said it was rescheduling a news conference by its chief due to an “emergency” without elaborating further.
Recruit Holdings was the biggest percentage gainer among the Topix core 30 with a 4.16% jump.
Sea transport’s 2.99% drop made it the worst-performing Topix sector by a wide margin.
Shipper Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha was the biggest percentage decliner on the Nikkei, down 7.14%.