Nikkei down 0.8 pct, post-BOJ gains erased by profit-taking

Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:51am GMT

By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, Jan 22 (Reuters) - The Nikkei share average dropped
0.8 percent, erasing gains made immediately after the Bank of
Japan set a 2 percent inflation target and made an open-ended
commitment to buy assets.
    The Nikkei shed 85.88 points to 10,661.86 after
jumping to as high as 10,859.42 after the BOJ's outcome.
    The central bank doubled its inflation target to 2 percent
and adopted an open-ended commitment to buy assets, cheering the
market. The initial rise prompted profit-taking in the market
that has risen since mid-November. 
    "The bank provided the market with what it had expected, so
it cheered the outcome at first, but none of those moves was
extremely surprising," said a fund manager at a U.S. asset
management firm.
    "It's good that the bank said it will buy assets without
setting a deadline, but it could also be perceived as 'failing
to give out the timing' so that it can postpone such actions if
it wants to," he said.
    But analysts said the BOJ's decisions were generally
welcomed by investors, and in the longer term, the Japanese
market will likely continue attracting buying.
    "Now that the central bank proved that it is committed, so
even though there is a correction, the Nikkei may start rising
again," said Hikaru Sato, a senior technical analyst at Daiwa
Securities. "The 11,000-line is still in sight."
    Investors had been waiting for the BOJ decision since
mid-November when Shinzo Abe, then the leading candidate to win
a general election and now prime minister, began calling for
aggressive easing, helping to weaken the yen. That boosted
exporters and sparked a 26 percent rally in the Nikkei.
    The broader Topix slipped 0.9 percent to 897.23.