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Nikkei suffers minor setback on yen’s rise

JIJI

Stocks retreated slightly Wednesday, weighed down by selling as the yen firmed against other major currencies after the Bank of Japan decided to keep its monetary policy intact.

The Nikkei 225 shed 33.08 points to end at 14,042.17. On Tuesday, the key market gauge climbed 68.81 points.

The Topix sagged 3.33 points to 1,150.05 after rising 3.31 points Tuesday.

The Nikkei slipped below 14,000 at the outset of Wednesday’s trading, dampened by selling of mainstay issues after the Dow Jones industrial average hit its lowest closing level in about a month.

Still, the TSE’s downside was underpinned by buying on dips of undervalued issues, brokers said.

In the early afternoon, stock prices accelerated their downswing as the yen firmed against other major currencies after the BOJ announced its decision at its two-day Policy Board meeting.

The key indexes trimmed losses in late trading thanks to buying on dips, but investors held back from active purchases prior to a news conference by BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda later in the day, brokers said.

“Speculative selling hit the market after the BOJ decision but did not continue for a long time,” said Masashi Oguchi of Mito Securities Co.’s investment information department.

By the close, the Nikkei recovered almost all of its losses. This suggests that “investors came to their senses,” he said.

Analysts agree that there is no buying incentive strong enough to push up stock prices and that only buying on dips and buybacks are supporting stocks.

Falling issues outpaced rising ones 983 to 672 in the first section, while 155 issues were unchanged.

Volume came to 1.795 billion shares, almost unchanged from Tuesday’s 1.798 billion.

JGB futures end lower

Japanese government bond futures fell Wednesday as trading lacked direction amid a wait-and-see mood.

The lead June futures contract on 10-year JGBs closed down 0.02 point from Tuesday at 145.22. Volume fell to 18,745 contracts from 20,991.

In late interdealer trading in cash JGBs, the yield on the latest 333rd 10-year issue with a 0.6 percent coupon stood at 0.590 percent.