Japanese stocks fell, trimming a fourth week of gains on the Topix index, as shares in Tokyo joined a global selloff and investors awaited earnings from the nation’s three main lenders.

The Topix index slid 1.1 percent to 1,576.59 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, paring this week’s advance to 0.9 percent. As earnings season progresses, some 55 percent of Topix constituents have topped quarterly profit estimates. The yen strengthened against the dollar Thursday after Federal Reserve officials emphasized the need for a cautious approach to monetary policy, even as they reiterated their preference for a rate rise this year.

The Topix rallied 16 percent from a September low though Thursday as investors scrutinized economic data to assess whether the Bank of Japan will add to already unprecedented monetary stimulus as the Fed begins to tighten policy. While concern about the U.S. rate increase is weighing on risky assets around the world, for Japan equities that’s partly offset by a stronger dollar, which improves the earnings outlook for exporters.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 1 percent to 19,496.12 on Friday. The yen traded at 122.57 per dollar after gaining 0.2 percent Thursday.

Source : Bloomberg