Japanese stocks fall on stronger yen; BOJ meeting in focus next week
TOKYO, July 22 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks dropped on Friday in thin trade, with investors taking profit after recent gains as the yen strengthened on waning expectations of radical monetary policy easing from the Bank of Japan.
The Nikkei shed 1.1 percent at 16,627.25. For the week, it added 0.8 percent.
BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda's remarks in a BBC Radio 4 interview quashed expectations that Japan might be preparing to take radical "helicopter money" economic stimulus steps, under which the central bank would finance government budgets to fight deflation.
Kuroda's comments sent the yen to six-week lows against major counterparts, and gave investors a reason to sell shares.
But analysts said that the market is still expecting some form of easing at the BOJ's policy meeting on July 28-29.
"Market expectations do not include helicopter money now, but investors expect some kind of easing," said Chihiro Ohta, general manager of investment research at SMBC Nikko Securities, adding that such hopes are limiting falls for the time being.
The broader Topix declined 0.9 percent to 1,327.51, with only 1.59 billion shares changing hands, the lowest level since July 5.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 1.0 percent to 11,914.59. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa and Lisa Twaronite; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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