Nikkei falls in choppy trade, investors wary ahead of Fed

martes 16 de junio de 2015 22:55 GYT

* Retail investors' margin buy-positions highest in 4 months
    * Big market cap shares take a breather

    By Ayai Tomisawa
    TOKYO, June 17 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks fell to a
one-week low in choppy morning trade on Wednesday, as investors
were reluctant to build fresh positions ahead of the outcome of
the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting.
    The Nikkei share average declined 0.5 percent to
20,165.53 in midmorning trade after opening higher, dropping to
a low of 20,137.33 at one point - the weakest since June 10.
    The Fed's statement later on Wednesday is followed by Chair
Janet Yellen's news conference where every syllable will be
dissected for clues on the lift-off date for interest rates. 
    "Sentiment is tense, so investors do not want to buy major
shares like exporters and banks," said Hikaru Sato, a senior
technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.
    Toyota Motor Corp fell 0.7 percent and Nissan Motor
Co dropped 0.4 percent. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group
 shed 0.7 percent while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group
 declined 1.8 percent.
    Home products seller Arcland Sakamoto, whose main
shareholders are retail investors, fell as much as 5.0 percent
after its first quarter result disappointed investors.
    Sato said the debt-talks drama in Greece have also sapped
risk appetite.
    In Athens, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accused Greece's
creditors on Tuesday of trying to "humiliate" Greeks with more
cuts as he defied a growing drumbeat of warnings that Europe was
preparing for his country to leave the euro. 
    Meanwhile, some traders are worried that retail investors'
rising margin buy-positions could lead to a large correction. 
    Retail investors margin buy-positions increased to 3.1
trillion yen as of last Friday, a Japan Exchange Group data
shows, the highest level in four months.
    "It is unlikely that there will be a big market impact if
retail investors sell," but a negative global event could
trigger a big sell-off, a trader at a Japanese brokerage said.
    The broader Topix dropped 0.2 percent to 1,636.10
and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 0.2 percent to

 (Editing Shri Navaratnam)