TOKYO, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) — Tokyo stocks closed lower Thursday after the Japanese central bank announced to maintain its easing monetary policy despite the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise its key policy rate.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 159.30 points, or 0.58 percent, from Wednesday to close the day at 27,153.83.
The broader Topix index, meanwhile, edged down 4.68 points, or 0.24 percent, to finish at 1,916.12.
The U.S. dollar hit a 24-year high by briefly topping the 145-yen line after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) announced to maintain short-term interest rates at minus 0.1 percent at the end of a two-day policy meeting.
BOJ’s decision came in sharp contrast with the U.S. central bank’s aggressive rate hikes. The Federal Reserve on Wednesday announced to raise interest rates by 75 basis points for a third straight time this year and signaled more aggressive rate hikes ahead in a bid to rein in inflation.
After the market’s close, BOJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda rejected the idea of raising interest rates in the near future at a press conference, noting that the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is only halfway despite soaring inflation.
Dealers here said that the U.S. rate hike campaign could tip the country’s economy into a recession, amid concerns about a global economic slowdown linked to rate hikes by other central banks.
A possible slowdown in the global economy will “naturally weigh on Japanese companies as central banks in the United States and Europe continue to raise interest rates,” said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co.
By the close of play, shares in marine transportation, insurance, and service led the declines, with declining issues outpacing advancing ones by 1,105 to 626 on the Prime Market.
Shipping firms were lower amid concerns about a slowdown in demand. Shares of Kawasaki Kisen dropped 2.92 percent while Nippon Yusen ended down 1.23 percent.
On the Prime Market on Thursday, 1,144.75 million shares changed hands, expanding from Wednesday’s 1,068.75 million shares.