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Nikkei slips as investors await Fed stimulus decision
September 13, 2012 / 1:46 AM / 5 years ago

Nikkei slips as investors await Fed stimulus decision

* Apple suppliers see gains after iPhone 5 unveiled
    * Investors focus on stocks insulated from strong yen
    * Market in wait-and-see mode ahead of FOMC

    By Sophie Knight
    TOKYO, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average
dipped slightly in early Thursday trade as investors waited to
see if the U.S. Federal Reserve will announce fresh stimulus,
although gains for tech-related shares after Apple announced its
iPhone 5 launch curbed losses.
    Investors took profit after Germany's highest court gave the
go-ahead for the country to ratify the European Stability
Mechanism (ESM), meeting expectations that drove the market up
to a two-week closing high on Wednesday. 
    The Nikkei dropped 0.1 percent to 8,955.26, but held
above its 14-day moving average at 8,884.00. 
    "Germany did what everyone expected, but now all eyes are on
the Fed," said Hirokazu Fujiki, manager of investment strategy
at Okasan Securities. "Even if they decide to purchase more
bonds, no one knows the potential scale or content of those
purchases, which is creating a lot of uncertainty." 
    Hopes for a third round of "quantitative easing" via bond
purchases were spurred on by disappointing U.S. jobs data on
Friday, as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke framed employment concerns
as justification for further stimulus in a speech last month.
    More quantitative easing by the Fed is expected to boost
sentiment in global markets, but there are also fears it will
further weaken the dollar against the yen, which hit a
3-1/2-month high against the greenback on Tuesday, hurting
exporters.
    Investors continued to shield themselves from the risk of a
stronger yen by buying up stocks of companies with little
exposure to overseas markets, such as Gree Inc, which
rose 4.9 percent and was the most-traded stock on the main
board. 
    Parts suppliers to Apple Inc were in demand after
the U.S. company unveiled a new iPhone, with Meiko Electronic Co
Ltd jumping 17.6 percent and Foster Electric Co Ltd
, Sumida Corp and Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd
 gaining between 1.6 and 5.5 percent. 
    Elsewhere, Itochu Corp slightly outperformed the
market by inching up 0.5 percent after Dole Food Company Inc
 said it was in advanced talks to sell the Japanese
trading company its packaged foods and Asia fresh businesses for
around $1.7 billion. 
    Analysts said investors were angling for a 9,000 strike
price for Friday's monthly settlement of a large number of
options, but that the event was not spiking volumes as usual
because most were unwilling to make big moves ahead of the Fed's
decision.
    The broader Topix index was flat at 741.59.

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