Japanese stocks fell as a stronger yen outweighed optimism that the Federal Reserve will raise interest slower than previously forecast.
The Topix index lost 0.1 percent to 1,580.67 as of 9:02 a.m. in Tokyo, with three stocks falling for every two that rose. The Nikkei 225 Stocks Average slipped 0.1 percent to 19,516.70. The yen traded at 120.09 after jumping 1 percent against the dollar on Wednesday following the Fed statement, which drove U.S. stocks higher.
The Fed said its first interest-rate hike in almost a decade is unlikely to come in April and it won’t tighten until it is “reasonably confident” inflation will return to its target and the labor market improves further. The central bank also dropped an assurance it will be “patient” in raising borrowing costs.
Officials lowered their median estimate for the federal funds rate at the end of 2015 to 0.625 percent, compared with 1.125 percent in December forecasts. The median estimate for the end of 2016 declined to 1.875 percent from 2.5 percent, according to the Federal Open Market Committee’s quarterly Summary of Economic Projections.
Source : Bloomberg