Japan’s Nikkei share average slipped on Thursday, giving back some of this week’s gains as sentiment soured on Wall Street losses and wary investors awaited the Bank of Japan’s policy decision.
The Nikkei was down 0.2 percent at 19,243.76 at midday, pulling away from the previous session’s one-month highs. It was still on track to gain 3.3 for the week, and 1.8 for the month.
On Wall Street on Wednesday, U.S. stocks slipped following two sessions of strong gains, as solid corporate earnings were offset by uncertainty over the feasibility of a proposed business tax cut. The proposal from U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration offered no specifics on how the cuts would be paid for without increasing the nation’s deficit.
“It is normal to for investors to take some profits after gains in both the U.S. and Japan,” said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Asset Management.
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Investors were also awaiting the outcome of the Bank of Japan’s two-day policy meeting, expected later this session. The BOJ was widely expected to hold policy steady, and sources have told Reuters that policymakers are set to offer a more upbeat assessment of the economy.
Foreign investors remained net buyers of Japanese stocks for the week ending on April 22, weekly capital flows data showed on Thursday.
“People realise there’s still value in Japan as a whole. There’s still intrinsic value, and people are more inclined to have exposure,” said Gavin Parry, managing director of Parry International Trading in Hong Kong.
Shares of Renesas Electronics Corp fell 9.6 percent after Nikkei reported said state-run fund Innovation Network Corp of Japan (INCJ) planned to sell off a nearly 20 percent stake in the company.
Trading in shares of Takata Corp was suspended on Thursday morning after Nikkei reported that the embattled auto parts maker was considering filing for bankruptcy protection, selling all operations to a newly created company.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shares dropped 4.1 percent after it cut its operating profit estimate on Wednesday for the full fiscal year through March 2017.
On the winning side, Canon Inc shares jumped 4 percent after touching their highest levels since December 2015. The camera and printer maker on Wednesday lifted its operating profit forecast after reporting strong first quarter results on the back of earnings from a medical equipment unit it bought from Toshiba Corp last year.
Kao Corp shares rose 0.7 percent after hitting their highest levels since February 2016. The Japanese consumer goods maker on Wednesday posted brighter first quarter earnings.
The broader Topix fell 0.1 percent to 1,536.04, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 also gave up 0.1 percent to 13,745.50. (Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Sam Holmes)