Nikkei falls after Fed, construction equipment makers battered

miércoles 28 de enero de 2015 21:55 GYT
 

* Fed upgrades economic view, on track to rate hikes
    * Komatsu, Hitachi Construction fall sharply after earnings
    * Canon disappoint investors, a weaker yen only bright spot
    * Market supported by buying from BOJ, pensions - analysts

    By Hideyuki Sano
    TOKYO, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average slipped on
Thursday in sympathy with falls in Wall Street shares following
the Fed's unwavering stance on rate hikes, with construction
equipment makers badly hit by disappointing earnings.
    Still, analysts say the Tokyo market appears to have a
firmer support than U.S. peers for now, due to expectations of
buying by the Bank of Japan and public pension funds.
    The Nikkei fell 0.4 percent to 17,717.99 from
Wednesday's one-month closing high. But it was still up 1.5
percent on the month, compared to 2.7 percent fall in the U.S.
S&P 500, which fell 1.4 percent on Wednesday.
    The Federal Reserve unexpectedly lifted its view on the
economy, signalling the U.S. central bank remains firmly on
track with plans to raise interest rates this year.
    "The markets were a bit surprised that the Fed was more
hawkish than expected, especially considering that many people
had thought that the board members this year would be more
dovish than last year's," said Hideyuki Ishiguro, senior
strategist at Okasan Securities.
    Four voting members from regional Feds at the policy
committee this year are considered less hawkish than last year's
rotating members.
    Leading the losses in the Tokyo bourse were construction
equipment makers, which reported disappointing earnings on
Wednesday.
    Hitachi Construction fell 9.0 percent and Komatsu
 shed 7.0 percent.
    "Resource development is likely to be stagnant due to low
oil prices so they will likely be affected. There is an
increasing concern on their outlook not just for this financial
year but for the next financial year," said Masahiro Ayukai,
senior investment analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley
Securities.
    Some companies had little to cheer other than the boost from
a weaker yen.
    Canon shares dropped 4.9 percent as the camera
maker reported sluggish sales of digital cameras, which face an
increasing competition from improvements in smartphone cameras.
    Nintendo fell 6.1 percent after the gamemaker cut
its profit outlook due to weak sales, halving its annual
operating profit estimate for the year to March.
    Still, market participants also noted that Japanese share
prices have been resilient this week, closing higher than
opening levels for three days in a row.
    Many analysts suspect buying by the Bank of Japan, and
possibly by public pension funds, is underpinning the market.
    The broader Topix fell 0.7 percent to 1,420.51 while
the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 lost 0.7 percent to
12,880.94.