Tokyo stocks barely moved at the open Tuesday despite fresh records for two indexes on Wall Street, as investors awaited the Bank of Japan’s policy decision later in the day.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index inched down 0.04 percent, or 10.81 points, to 29,115.42 in early trade, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.38 percent, or 7.20 points, to 1,910.95.The Bank of Japan (BoJ) is widely expected to stand pat after a two-day policy meeting that ends later Tuesday.
However, the “BoJ’s economic projections are looking too optimistic and at risk of downward revision,” said Ray Attrill, senior strategist at National Australia Bank in a note.
“A fourth Covid wave has now erased hopes for a domestically driven economic recovery” in the second quarter, he said.
“Japan’s underwhelming vaccine rollout programme is now threatening the potential for any domestically driven recovery at all in 2021.”
The dollar fetched 108.10 yen in early Asian trade, against 108.11 in New York late Monday.
In Tokyo, Canon was up 2.96 percent at 2,730.5 yen after the company boosted its full-year operating profit forecast by 25 percent and said it expects profit to return to pre-pandemic levels.Sony was down 1.79 percent at 11,490 yen and Panasonic was off 1.18 percent at 1,298 yen.
Automakers were mixed, with Honda trading down 1.43 percent at 3,243 yen and Toyota off 0.69 percent at 8,208 yen while Nissan trading up 0.45 percent at 557.8 yen.
On Wall Street, the tech-rich Nasdaq and the S&P 500 finished at fresh records as large tech companies rallied ahead of earnings later in the week.
The Nasdaq rallied 0.9 percent and the broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.2 percent to end the day, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.2 percent to 33,981.57.