Japanese shares fall as dovish Fed strengthens yen; exporters drop

TOKYO, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks fell on Thursday, dragged lower by major exporters after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s dovish tone pushed the yen to a seven-week high against the dollar.

The Nikkei 225 Index fell 0.68% to 23,316.75 by 0159 GMT, with consumer discretionary and industrial sectors leading the decline. The broader Topix fell 0.47% to 1,636.65.

The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday vowed to keep interest rates near zero until inflation is on track to overshoot the U.S. central bank’s 2% price target, pushing the yen to 104.80 per dollar, the strongest since July 31.

The auto sector, which is a major exporter, fell due to the yen’s strength. Honda Motor declined by 1.03%, Isuzu Motors Ltd lost 3.71%, and Nissan Motor Co fell 1.85%.

Investors now eye the Bank of Japan’s policy meeting outcome. While the BOJ is not expected to change its quantitative easing, participants will watch how the central bank will cooperate with new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

Among the top 30 core Topix names, convenience store Seven & i Holdings Co Ltd and electronics maker Keyence Corp gained 0.75% and 0.42%, respectively.

East Japan Railway Co, down 3.77%, and Central Japan Railway Co, which shed 3.08%, were among the top underperformers.

There were 82 advancers on the Nikkei index against 141 decliners.

The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 0.46 billion, compared with the average of 1.13 billion in the past 30 days.

Editing by Uttaresh.V