Japanese shares slip ahead of BOJ, Fanuc tumbles on poor earnings
* Market speculates BOJ could ease as soon as Friday
* Japan industrial output, consumer price soft
* Fanuc falls 12 pct, hit by weak demand in China
TOKYO, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Japanese shares slipped on Friday as investors cautiously looked to whether the Bank of Japan will step up its stimulus later in the day.
Fanuc shares fell 12 percent after the robot maker unexpectedly cut its earning forecast, helping to push down the Nikkei share average 0.4 percent to 16,973.01 while the broader Topix dipped 0.1 percent to 1,391.21.
Speculation is rife the Bank of Japan will have to add yet more stimulus to support Japan's flagging growth and weakening inflation outlook.
"All eyes will be on the BOJ at the moment. Policymakers now have the difficult decision of steering into the wind and taking decisive action amid global instability, or sticking to the program and risking further defamation in the court of public opinion," said Martin King, co-managing director at Tyton Capital Advisors.
While many doubt new measures it will come out of first policy meeting of the year, investors are cautious given BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has tried to surprise markets in the past.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may also need a fresh boost to his "Abenomics" drive after Economy Minister Akira Amari resigned abruptly on Thursday to take responsibility for a political funding scandal. Continuación...