Japanese stocks fell for a second day as the yen strengthened, weighing on the outlook for exporters ahead of a U.S. central bank statement on monetary policy.
The Topix index declined 0.7 percent to 1,362.97 at 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, with about three shares falling for each that rose. The gauge posted its first weekly loss in four weeks last week, after jumping 15 percent over the preceding three weeks. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average retreated 0.7 percent to 16,991.89. The yen traded at 113.14 against the dollar after strengthening 0.6 percent on Tuesday. The Federal Reserve concludes a two-day meeting on Wednesday.
The Fed’s review follows the Bank of Japan’s decision on Tuesday to keep monetary policy unchanged, and comes as investors start to question the potency of central bank intervention. Japan’s surprise shift into negative rates in January and last week’s additional stimulus from the European Central Bank have received a mixed reception in markets as concern over a potential global slowdown and the impact of falling oil prices unnerves traders. Global equities have staged a cautious comeback since reaching a 2 1/2-year low in mid-February.