TOKYO, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks edged up on Wednesday in choppy trade on expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve would reinforce its commitment to keeping rates low at a meeting later in the day.
The Nikkei 225 Index rose 0.21% to 23,503.49 by 0205 GMT, with the telecommunications and healthcare sectors leading gains. The broader Topix rose 0.4% to 1,647.37.
Many investors were on the sidelines before the end of the Fed meeting. While no major change in policy is expected, the central bank is likely to emphasise that interest rates will remain low for an extended period to support job creation.
In other news, Japan’s parliament is expected to formally approve Yoshihide Suga as the next prime minister sometime later on Wednesday.
However, the formation of a new government has already been priced into the Japanese stock market because Finance Minister Taro Aso will retain his post, according to domestic media, which suggests little change to economic policy.
Market focus was also on the Bank of Japan’s policy decision, due on Thursday, with the central bank expected to leave its monetary easing stance unchanged.
The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names were investment manager SoftBank Group Corp, up 3.62%, followed by drugs maker Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd, which jumped 2.91%.
The underperformers among the Topix 30 were automaker Honda Motor Co Ltd, down 2.35%, followed by Canon Inc losing 1.80% as the yen’s rise to an almost three-week high against the dollar hurt exporters.
There were 63 advancers on the Nikkei index against 156 decliners.
The volume of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s main board was 0.51 billion, compared to the average of 1.14 billion in the past 30 days. (Editing by Devika Syamnath)
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