Tokyo Stocks Close Flat With Eyes On Fed Meeting

Tokyo stocks close flat with eyes on Fed meeting

TOKYO, , (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 14th Dec, 2016 ) - Tokyo stocks closed flat Wednesday as a pick-up in Japanese business confidence was unable to entice investors off the sidelines as they await the conclusion of a key US central bank meeting.

Gambling-linked firms retreated after a recent rally as lawmakers from Japan's ruling party rush to pass a controversial bill to legalise casinos on the last day of the parliamentary session. Backers hope the move will attract billions of Dollars in investment and turn Japan into a global gaming powerhouse rivalling Asian titan Macau.

In Tokyo, Konami, which makes machines for a popular quasi-gambling game called Pachinko, sank 0.84 percent to 4,125 yen, while Japan Cash Machine, a bill-counting device maker, tumbled 3.23 percent to 1,464 yen.

Amusement machine maker Sega Sammy was down 0.61 percent at 1,792 yen. Shortly before the market opened, the Bank of Japan released its quarterly Tankan survey showing business confidence among the country's largest manufacturers rebounded for the first time in more than a year as the Yen tumbled following Donald Trump's US election win.

The closely watched report is a key gauge of the health of Japanese business. But the market impact was limited as investors focus on the Federal Reserve's policy meeting. While a rate hike is expected, dealers will be poring over comments from the bank's boss Janet Yellen for an idea about its plans for future policy.

"Investors are now reluctant to take big positions as they want to see what happens at the Fed meeting," Shinichi Yamamoto, a broker at Okasan Securities in Tokyo, told AFP. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index edged up 3.09 points to 19,253.61, ending at another fresh high for the year.

The broader Topix index of all first-section issues, however, was down 0.10 percent, or 1.56 points, at 1,538.69. Brewer Asahi Group tumbled again after its whopping purchase of AB InBev's Eastern European business.

The firm fell 1.42 percent to 3,447 yen following the previous day's 4.60 percent dive. The group announced Tuesday it will pay $7.7 billion for AB InBev's beer assets in five emerging European countries, about twice as much as an earlier report had suggested.