• Tokyo stocks rally by break ahead of Fed decision


    TOKYO: Tokyo stocks rallied Wednesday morning, rebounding after ending three straight sessions in negative territory as investors awaited the outcome of a US Federal Reserve.

    The US central bank, which concludes its meeting later Wednesday, is not expected to make any major announcement.

    But its statement will be pored over for clues about policy following a run of strong data that have fanned talk of an interest rate rise.

    The Bank of Japan, which closes a two-day policy meeting Friday, is widely considered to be lining up a fresh wave of easing, as the government prepares a promised fiscal stimulus package to kickstart the torpid economy.

    “The market had fallen for three days so it’s an opportunity to buy,” Seiichi Miura, a strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, told Bloomberg News.

    “The BoJ could… announce something that sends stocks higher. Investors should be scared to sell.”

    By the midday break, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index tacked on 1.39 percent, or 227.15 points, to 16,610.19, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares climbed 0.71 percent, or 9.27 points, to 1,316.21.

    Automakers jumped as the dollar soared to 105.26 yen from 104.64 yen in New York and 104.41 yen in Tokyo earlier Tuesday.

    A weaker yen is a plus for Japanese shares as it boosts the outlook for exporters’ profitability.

    Toyota surged 2.28 percent to 5,829 yen, Nissan advanced 2.78 percent to 1,025 yen and Honda was 1.60 percent higher at 2,846 yen.

    Asahi Group soared 3.92 percent to 3,574 yen after the beer giant said Tuesday its half-year net income probably beat its own forecast on strong sales in the domestic market and better-than-expected performance overseas.

    Uniqlo-operator Fast Retailing, a market heavyweight, gained 2.73 percent to 33,420 yen.

    Investors are also keeping tabs on Japan’s latest earnings reports, with Nintendo and Nissan among the firms reporting after markets close on Wednesday, and SoftBank, Sony and Japan Airlines reporting later this week. AFP



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