BCN-06 Tokyo stocks open slightly lower after Fed outlook

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BCN-06

STOCKS-MARKETS-JAPAN-OPEN

Tokyo stocks open slightly lower after Fed outlook

TOKYO, Dec 14, 2017 (BSS/AFP) – Tokyo stocks opened slightly lower on
Thursday as investors digested the US Federal Reserve’s announcement that it
would lift interest rates while maintaining its outlook for further hikes
next year.

At the open, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged down 0.18 percent, or
41.33 points to 22,716.74, while the broader Topix index was down 0.13
percent, or 2.34 points, at 1,808.50.

“After the big event of the Fed’s rate hike announcement, dealers have a
sense of relief,” Masayuki Kubota, chief strategist at Rakuten Securities,
said in a commentary.

“But the higher yen (after the Fed rate hike) could work as a negative
factor,” he added.

The dollar rebounded slightly to 112.70 yen in early Asian trade from
112.56 yen in New York, after the greenback dipped with no surprise coming
from the Federal Reserve’s decision to lift interest rates.

The dollar was still much lower than 113.31 yen in Tokyo on Wednesday, as
the latest US price data confirmed that inflation remains subdued.

The US Consumer Price Index, which tracks costs for household goods and
services, gained 0.4 percent last month compared to October, in line with
analysts’ expectations.

But three-quarters of the November increase was due to rising energy
prices and there was no clear upward trend, according to a government report
Wednesday.

In Tokyo, Rakuten was down 2.01 percent at 1,117 yen after a report that
it plans to set up its own mobile carrier in Japan.

Shikoku Electric plunged 6.18 percent to 1,304 yen after a brokerage
downgraded its estimate, after dropping 8.31 percent the previous day
following a high court decision to suspend one of its nuclear reactors.

Toyota was up 0.22 percent at 7,096 yen and Panasonic gained 2.50 percent
at 1,678.5 yen after the two companies announced a tie-up in lithium ion
batteries for electric vehicles.

BSS/AFP/HR/0955