TOKYO: Tokyo stocks closed lower on Wednesday in cautious trade, tracking Wall Street losses as markets awaited Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s address for clues on the direction of monetary policy.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.21 percent, or 58.85 points, to 27,968.99 while the broader Topix index slipped 0.37 percent, or 7.40 points, to 1,985.57.
Powell’s address Wednesday at the Brookings Institution comes as markets expect the central bank to soon moderate its policy of aggressive interest rate hikes to counter inflation.
“Ahead of Fed Chair Powell’s speech and important economic data due later in the day, traders found it difficult to sell or buy,” Daiwa Securities strategist Atsuko Ishitoya said.
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The dollar fetched 138.47 yen in Asian trade, against 138.67 yen in New York late Tuesday.
In Tokyo, pharmaceutical company Eisai climbed 3.83 percent to 9,332 yen after it presented the full results of a trial of its Alzheimer’s drug.
Nidec lost 1.04 percent to 8,534 yen, after a report said the motor maker will acquire Pama, an Italian producer of machine tools, in a deal estimated to be worth 15 billion yen ($108 million). Among others, Sony Group lost 1.01 percent to 11,255 yen and Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing closed 0.80 percent lower at 80,810 yen.
Chip-testing equipment maker Advantest ended up 0.22 percent at 9,130 yen and chip-making equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron closed up 0.62 percent to 45,090 yen.
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