Japan stocks fall before Fed, Sharp dives on report of M&A delay
By Joshua Hunt
TOKYO, March 16 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks edged lower on Wednesday morning as some investors reduced their holdings ahead of the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting, while Sharp Corp. tumbled on a report that Foxconn may delay its takeover deal.
Taking its lead from weakness on Wall Street, the Nikkei share average fell 0.5 percent to 17,029.29 in midmorning trade.
"There's no question that the FOMC is expected to provide the much-needed clarity global markets need in order to move forward with some sense of conviction," said Stefan Worrall, director of Japan equity sales at Credit Suisse.
"Ahead of that, we're seeing a very pregnant pause and an air pocket of conviction following yesterday's BOJ statement."
Sharp Corp shares plunged more than 9 percent after a Bloomberg report, which quoted unnamed sources, said Foxconn may delay its takeover deal to get more clarity on the Japanese electronics company's financial performance. [ID:bloom.bg/1pn4SQs ]
Factory robotics company Fanuc Corp fell 2.8 percent to a 1-week low after Credit Suisse cut its rating to 'underperform' from 'neutral' and slashed its target price to 16,000 yen-per-share from 24,000 yen-per-share.
Sony Corp bucked the downturn by climbing 4.2 percent to a 6-1/2 week high after announcing its virtual reality headset for PlayStation gaming consoles will launch globally in October for $399, undercutting its competitor by hundreds of dollars.
The Topix subindex for air transport added 1.3 percent with Japan Airlines Co Ltd gaining 1.7 percent and ANA Holdings inc shares rising 0.6 percent.
The broader Topix slipped 0.5 percent to 1,365.18 with all but six of its 33 subindexes in negative territory during midmorning trade.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 0.5 percent to 12,336.45. (Reporting by Joshua Hunt; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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