Tokyo Stocks End Lower, Dealers Await Yellen Speech

Tokyo stocks end lower, dealers await Yellen speech

TOKYO,(Pakistan Point News - APP -26th Augst,2016) - Tokyo stocks ended the week in the red Friday as dealers awaited a speech by Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen and after data showed Japan is still struggling in its battle to kickstart inflation. Many investors took a wait-and-see stance ahead of Yellen's address at an annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming later in the day, which many hope will provide some clues about her plans for interest rates.

Her talk comes against a backdrop of growing concern that despite pushing interest rates to record lows -- and even negative territory -- central banks have been unable to boost economic growth. "You can't take on risk ahead of important events," like Yellen's speech, Takashi Ito, a Tokyo-based equity strategist at Nomura Securities, told Bloomberg News. "There are two views on what she'll say; either that she'll take a step forward in her reference to the rate hike, or she won't mention it at all.

"It's difficult to predict. If she does make more hawkish comments the market could be chaotic in the short term," he added. By the close, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 1.18 percent, or 195.24 points, at 16,360.71 -- losing 1.12 percent over the week. The broader Topix index of all first-sections shares shed 1.26 percent, or 16.37 points, to end at 1,287.90. It was down 0.60 percent from last Friday. Figures at the start of the day showed Japanese consumer prices in July dropped for a fifth straight month.

The worse-than-expected 0.5 percent decline -- economists had expected a 0.4 percent fall -- further underlined Tokyo's challenge in jacking up prices to stimulate the wider economy. Next week, investors will be keeping an eye on US and Japanese jobs data, as well as other figures from Tokyo including household spending and factory output. On Friday, Japan's national pension fund -- the world's biggest -- said it posted a 3.

9 percent loss in the April-June quarter. That wiped about 5.2 trillion Yen of its massive portfolio, as volatility on financial markets challenge a move to a more stocks-focused strategy. In share trading, All Nippon Airways slipped 2.00 percent to 273.9 yen after saying on Thursday it was cancelling some Boeing Dreamliner flights owing to a problem with the plane's Rolls Royce-made engine. Electronics giant Toshiba fell 1.53 percent to 302 yen on news it was being sued for nearly 12 billion yen in damages by Japan Trustee Services Bank over a massive profit-padding scandal. Toyota sank 3.35 percent to 5,911 yen and Sony was off 1.18 percent at 3,331 yen.