Nikkei turns lower as investors take stock of economic challenges
TOKYO, Nov 19(Reuters) - Japanese stocks turned lower on Wednesday as investors booked profits as they took stock of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decision to delay a sales tax hike, and the challenges policy makers continue to face to re-energise a tottering economy. The Nikkei benchmark closed down 0.3 percent at 17,288.75, reversing slim gains in the morning session. Market participants said a wait-and-see mood ahead of a press conference by Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda encouraged profit taking. Kuroda told reporters that the economy is likely to continue to grow above potential, but added that the BOJ will adjust its economic projections by assessing the growth trends. Earlier on Wednesday the BOJ kept monetary policy unchanged, as expected, saying that although weak points remain, the Japanese economy is recovering moderately. [ID: nT9N0SV01H] Mobile phone carrier Softbank shed 1.6 percent, and clothes brand Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing closed down 1.2 percent. Sony Corp lost 1.5 percent. The broader Topix closed up 0.1 percent at 1,396.54 after scaling an eight-year peak in the morning session, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 added 0.2 percent to 12,750.82. (Reporting by Thomas Wilson; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
© Thomson Reuters 2016 All rights reserved.