TOKYO, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) — Tokyo stocks closed lower Friday amid rising concerns the U.S. Federal Reserve’s continued rate hikes to tame inflation could trigger a global economic slowdown.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 308.26 points, or 1.11 percent, from Thursday to close the day at 27,567.65.
The broader Topix index, meanwhile, dropped 11.87 points, or 0.61 percent, to finish at 1,938.56.
Local brokers said that solid U.S. economic data released Thursday, including retail sales and jobless claims, reinforced expectations the Fed will hike its rate following its next monetary policy-setting meeting, with hefty hikes set to continue to tame inflation despite the negative impact this could have on the economy.
This view, analysts said, was compounded by FedEx withdrawing its financial forecast and warning of a deterioration in the global economy.
“FedEx’s earnings fueled concerns about the U.S. economic outlook … it is just a matter of when the slowdown will happen,” Masahiro Yamaguchi, head of investment research at SMBC Trust Bank, was quoted as saying.
Investment analysts said that investors were in a circumspect mood ahead of the Fed’s upcoming meeting, as well as that of the Bank of Japan.
“With the three-day weekend, the FOMC meeting, and the fact that next week only has three days of trading, it’s hard to buy right now,” Hiroyasu Mori, a strategist at Okachi Securities, was quoted as saying.
By the close of play, marine transportation, mining and electric appliance issues comprised those that declined the most, and issues that declined outpaced those that rose by 1,233 to 551 on the Prime Market, while 53 ended the day unchanged.
Nikkei heavyweight Fast Retailing, operator of the Uniqlo clothing chain, weighed on the broader market, dropping 1.3 percent.
High technology issues were also a drag, following their U.S. peers lower overnight, with chip-making equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron plunging 4.3 percent, while Screen Holdings ended 3.9 percent lower.
Shipping issues lost ground on concerns over a global economic slowdown, with Kawasaki Kisen sinking 5.1 percent, while Nippon Yusen was down 2.5 percent by the close.
On the Prime Market on Friday, 1,417.56 million shares changed hands, rising from Thursday’s volume of 897.54 million shares.
The turnover on the final trading day of the week came to 3,404.79 billion yen (23.75 billion U.S. dollars).