TOKYO Dec 14 Japan's Nikkei slipped on
Wednesday as the market braced for the Federal Reserve's policy
decision, due later in the session, that should signal the
near-term direction for risk assets.
The Nikkei was down 0.1 percent at 19,235.46 when
the morning session ended.
The index opened marginally higher, brushing a one-year high
of 19,284.28, after Wall Street shares again closed at record
highs overnight. But then the Nikkei drifted into negative
Focus was squarely on the U.S. central bank and how its
decision could impact the currency market.
"A wait-and-see mood is prevailing ahead of the Fed's
decision. The Nikkei is also above 19,000 and there is a sense
of accomplishment in the market," said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior
strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.
"The biggest focal point is how the dollar reacts on the Fed
meeting, which is one of the last big events of the year. We are
likely to see action in the markets peter out after this."
The Fed is widely expected to hike interest rates by 25
basis points. Investor focus has moved on to whether Donald
Trump's U.S. election win has affected the central bank's view
on growth, inflation and the pace of rate hikes in 2017.
Building company Token Corporation gained 2.9
percent after its net profit for the May-October period rose
23.3 percent, thanks to strong construction orders.
Daiichi Sankyo Co lost 4.2 percent after the
pharmaceutical company's research and development meeting on
Tuesday was seen to have provided few positive surprises.
The broader Topix lost 0.15 percent to 1,537.90. Of
Tokyo's 33 sub-indexes, 10 rose and 23 fell.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was down 0.1 percent at
(Editing by Richard Borsuk)