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Japan's Nikkei slips on firmer yen, weaker Wall Street
March 15, 2017 / 2:33 AM / in 4 months

Japan's Nikkei slips on firmer yen, weaker Wall Street

3 Min Read

* Stocks edge down on profit-taking before Fed outcome

* Market awaits impact of Fed decision on yen, US stocks

* Kyushu Electric falls after unveiiling bond issuance plan

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO, March 15 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average slipped on Wednesday, dragged down by a firmer yen and Wall Street's overnight retreat.

The market's losses were limited as a wait-and-see mood prevailed before the Federal Reserve policy decision due later on Wednesday.

The Nikkei was down 0.3 percent at 19,549.43. The index reached an 11-day high of 19,656.48 on Monday on a weaker yen.

"The market is mostly on hold ahead of the Fed's decision but in the meantime some locked in profits after the yen strengthened and U.S. shares fell overnight," said Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.

How the Fed outcome impacts Japanese equities "is really up to how the currencies and U.S. stock markets react," he said.

With the futures market pricing in more than a 90 percent chance the Fed will raise interest rates, financial markets are expected to respond mainly to what it says about the pace of hikes this year.

Kyushu Electric Power Co slid 7.2 percent on wariness towards share dilution after the power company announced on Tuesday it will issue 150 billion yen ($1.31 billion) in convertible bonds.

Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp also retreated after saying it too would issue up to 150 billion yen of convertible bonds. Its shares were last down 2.9 percent.

Sanno Co surged more than 15 percent to hit the daily limit up after the manufacturer of precision electronic components revised up its sales forecast for the year through July.

Of Tokyo's 33 sub-indexes, all but four were in the red.

One of the biggest decliners among the sub-indexes was oil and coal products, down 1.4 percent after crude oil prices fell to three-month lows overnight. Showa Shell Sekiyu KK declined l 1.6 percent and JX Holdings dropped 1.5 percent.

Toshiba Corp remained volatile, dropping 7.1 percent after the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Tuesday put the troubled conglomerate's shares under supervision to see whether they meet delisting criteria.

The broader Topix slipped 0.4 percent to 1,569.15 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was down 0.3 percent at 14,049.60.

The dollar was at 114.770 yen, shy of a near two-month peak of 115.51 hit recently on mounting expectations for a U.S. rate increase.

U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday amid the decline in crude oil prices. Airlines pulled industrial stocks down as a blizzard hit the U.S. Northeast. ($1 = 114.6500 yen) (Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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