Nikkei ends slightly up after BOJ meeting brings no surprises
By Joshua Hunt
TOKYO, Sept 15 (Reuters) - The Nikkei share average rose on Tuesday as the Bank of Japan's two-day policy meeting concluded without any surprise decisions and food companies rallied on reports of a merger between two major meat processors.
The Nikkei share average ended up 0.3 percent at 18,026.48.
The Bank of Japan held off on expanding stimulus, preserving its limited policy options in the event that an expected U.S. rate hike brings further global volatility.
Food stocks outperformed after reports of a merger between two major meat processing companies helped lift the sector by 1.4 percent. Japan's second-largest meat processor, Itoham Foods, gained 2.4 percent after the Nikkei business daily said it would merge with seventh-ranked Yonekyu, which soared 9.7 percent on the news.
Major exporters also outperformed with Toyota Motor Corp rising 2.2 percent, Honda Motor Co gaining 1.3 percent and Panasonic Corp climbing 2.4 percent.
Toshiba Corp lost 1.8 percent after it reported a quarterly loss and was placed on a watch list by the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which also fined the company 91.2 million yen ($759,430) for betraying investors' trust.
Ebara Corp fell 4 percent after Credit Suisse downgraded its stock rating to 'neutral' from 'outperform' based on crude price forecasts and Ebara's heavy reliance on oil and gas companies for its sales. [ID: nL4N11L1QA]
The broader Topix edged down 0.01 percent to close at 1,462.24, while the JPX-Nikkei 400 Index lost 0.04 percent to 13,109.25.
($1 = 120.0900 yen) (Additional reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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