Sat, Apr 07, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Nikkei falls as US Federal Reserve moves off easing

AFP, TOKYO

Japanese shares lost ground this week as investors gave up on further stimulus measures in the US, but there was still hope for a rally after the Easter holiday, analysts said yesterday.

All eyes are on the Bank of Japan and whether it ushers in further easing measures to boost the world’s third-largest economy, they said.

The likelihood of further stimulus increased after a meeting on Friday morning between Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa, analysts said.

In the week to April 6, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange lost 3.91 percent, or 395.11 points, to end at 9,688.45.

The TOPIX index of all first-section issues ended the week down 3.35 percent, or 28.64 points, at 825.71.

Japanese shares were partly dented by minutes from the March US Federal Reserve policy meeting, which indicated no fresh monetary easing measures in the near term.

Sentiment was also hit after Spain said its borrowing costs soared in its first debt auction since an austerity budget last week, fueling concern of a repeat of Greece’s strife last year when it narrowly avoided a default.

However, Mitsuo Shimizu, deputy general manager of investment strategy and information at Cosmo Securities, said: “The eurozone worries will likely recede gradually [next] week and shares could recover their upward momentum” on hopes for more easing measures.

Investors will also keep their eyes on Japanese trade and current account figures next week, as well as US economic data.

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