Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) reported on Thursday its first negative return in three quarters with an investment loss of ¥683.2 billion ($4.54 billion) in the July to September period, as a policy tweak by the central bank hit the government bond market.

The world's largest pension fund lost 0.31% for the three months, trimming its overall assets to ¥219.3 trillion, it said in a statement.

The loss came after the fund, closely watched by global financial markets because of its mammoth size, posted a record quarterly investment return of ¥18.98 trillion in the previous quarter.

During the July to September period, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2.6%, while Japan's benchmark Topix index rose 1.5%.

The GPIF's foreign stock portfolio posted a quarterly loss of 0.1%, while its Japanese stock portfolio gained 2.5%.

Its Japanese bond portfolio posted a loss of 2.7%, while its foreign bond portfolio lost 0.8%.

The Bank of Japan (BOJ) took steps in July to allow long-term rates to move more freely in line with increasing inflation and growth, allowing the yield on the 10-year Japanese government bonds to cross 0.6% for the first time since 2014.

As of the end of September, Japanese bonds accounted for 26.6% of its portfolio and foreign bonds accounted for 24.2%. Foreign equities accounted for 24.7% and domestic equities 24.5%.