Saturday, March 2

Japanese shares track Wall Street losses after Fed meet minutes

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Japanese stocks fell alongside Asian peers on Thursday, as investors parsed US Federal Reserve meeting minutes and awaited an upcoming symposium to assess whether the central bank would temper its aggressive policy.

Japan’s Nikkei share average shed 0.91% at the open and stayed around that level throughout the day, ending down 0.96% at 28,942.14.

The losses erased most of the gains from the previous day, when the Nikkei closed above 29,000 for the first time since January. The index is still up around 4% for the week.

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The broader Topix index also fell, losing 0.82%.

“If US stocks bounce back, we’re expecting the Nikkei to trend upwards too,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

“We’re hearing that a lot of people are awaiting [Fed chairman Jerome] Powell’s appearance at next week’s Jackson Hole symposium, so the sentiment may well be wait-and-see until then,” said another market participant at a domestic securities firm.

As many as 178 Nikkei stocks fell, while 43 gained and four were flat.

Technology shares broadly declined after the Nasdaq 100 ended down 1.21% overnight.

Z Holdings Corp, which owns Line and Yahoo Japan, lost 1.85%. Sony Group Corp was down 1.76%, and SoftBank Corp slipped 0.2%.

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Automakers also made losses, with Toyota Motor Co falling 1.81%, Suzuki Motor dropping 1.06% and Honda Motor losing 0.87%.

Yamaha Corp made the biggest loss on the Nikkei, falling 2.51%.

Energy and utilities were the only two sectors to see overall gains.

The best performer was Nippon Sheet Glass Co Ltd, which rose 5.28%, building on a steady advance since its earnings report on Aug. 5. The glass manufacturer is up 45.22% so far this month.

Industrial machinery manufacturer Hitachi Zosen Corp was the other standout performer, up 3.42%. (Reporting by Sam Byford and Tokyo markets team; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)