Japanese Stocks Fall as Investors Count Down to U.S. Rate Increase

Japanese stocks fell for a second day, with the Topix index posting its lowest close in about two months, as investors count down to the first U.S. interest-rate increase in almost a decade. Exporters and banks were the biggest drags.

The Topix slipped 1.7 percent to 1,502.55 at the close of trading in Tokyo, adding to Monday’s 1.4 percent drop and posting its lowest close since Oct. 20. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slipped 1.7 percent to 18,565.90. The yen rose 0.2 percent to 120.84 per dollar.

Megabanks Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. were among the biggest contributors to losses on the Topix, falling at least 2.1 percent. Toyota Motor Corp. was the heaviest drag, sinking 1.9 percent. Chemical maker Asahi Kasei Corp., Nisshin Steel Co. and TDK Corp. all slumped more than 3.9 percent to lead declines on the Nikkei 225. Seibu Holdings Inc. added 2 percent after Barclays Plc raised its rating on the department-store operator.

E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.1 percent after the underlying measure rose 0.5 percent on Monday, surging in the final minutes of trading as a rebound in U.S. crude oil to back above $ 36 a barrel overshadowed credit-market turbulence and weakness in commodity shares before the Federal Reserve prepares to raise interest rates on Wednesday.

Traders are pricing in 76 percent odds that the Fed will raise rates for the first time since 2006, ending a seven-year era of near-zero borrowing costs. Tightening policy would solidify the Fed’s divergence from other major central banks, with policy makers in Europe and Japan still emphasizing measures to support growth.

Bank of Japan data showed that its purchases of the country’s exchange traded funds have already exceeded its 3 trillion yen target for 2015. The central bank bought 36.9 billion yen of ETFs on Monday, boosting purchases this year to 3.03 trillion yen.

Source : Bloomberg

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Japan Stocks Swing as Investors Count Down to U.S. Rate Increase

Japanese stocks fluctuated as investors count down to the first U.S. interest-rate increase in almost a decade. Oil refiners gained after crude rebounded from a six-year low.

The Topix index was little changed at 1,528.03 as of 9:03 a.m., after ending Monday at the lowest level in more than a month. Three shares rose for every two that fell. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average slipped 0.2 percent to 18,850.99, swinging from a 0.1 percent gain.

E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.3 percent after the underlying measure rose 0.5 percent on Monday, surging in the final minutes of trading as a rebound in U.S. crude oil to back above $ 36 a barrel overshadowed credit-market turbulence and weakness in commodity shares before the Federal Reserve prepares to raise interest rates on Wednesday.

Source : Bloomberg

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