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Japan Market falls ahead of Fed meeting outcome

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Headline indices of the Japan share market were lower on Wednesday, 18 September 2019, as investors opted to book recent profit after data showed that Japan's exports fell 8.2% year-on-year in August. Meanwhile, selloff pressure mounted on geopolitical situation in Middle East, US-China trade dispute, and on caution ahead of US Federal Reserve's policy announcement later in the day. Around late afternoon, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average eased 32.78 points, or 0.15%, to 21,968.54, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 9.13 points, or 0.57%, at 1,605.45.

Total 25 sectors out of 33 sectors of Topix index declined while remaining 8 issues inclined, with Mining, Oil & Coal Products, Iron & Steel, Nonferrous Metals, and Securities & Commodities Futures issues being notable losers, while Marine Transportation, Electric Power & Gas, and Chemicals issues were notable gainers.

Investors await the Fed's latest decision on monetary policy, set to be released on Wednesday stateside, with expectations high for an additional rate cut henceforth in response to slowing global economic growth and muted inflation. Chairman Jerome Powell will hold a post-decision press conference Wednesday.

Meanwhile, concerns linger about trade tensions, with U.

S. and Chinese working-level negotiators set to resume talks ahead of a meeting of top officials in October.

ECONOMIC NEWS: Japan Posts Y136.3 Billion Deficit In August--Japan has a merchandise trade deficit of 136.329 billion yen in August, the Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday, following the 250.7 billion yen deficit in July. Exports were down 8.2% on year to 6.140 trillion yen following the 1.5% annual drop in the previous month. Imports sank an annual 12.0% after easing 1.2% a month earlier.

CURRENCY NEWS: The Japanese yen was little changed against greenback on Wednesday. The Japanese yen, often seen as a safe-haven currency in times of turmoil, traded at 108.19 against the dollar after weakening from levels below 108.0 seen earlier in the trading week.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, September 18 2019. 10:51 IST