TOKYO: Japanese shares ended lower on Tuesday as investors remained on the sidelines ahead of a pivotal U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that could reveal more about its plans to taper stimulus measures and hike rates.
The Nikkei share average fell 0.43% to 29,520.90, a day after posting its biggest daily gain since June following a solid election victory by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s ruling coalition. The broader Topix lost 0.64% to 2,031.67.
“The market is looking to what the Federal Reserve will do with its tapering,” said Yuya Fukue, a trader at Rheos Capital Works.
“While November tends to be a good month for stocks, the stock market could be vulnerable if the pace of the Fed’s tapering is quicker than expected.”
The Fed will announce its policy decision at the end of its two-day meeting on Wednesday when Japanese markets will be shut for a public holiday.
Domestic earnings results also weighed on markets, as Pola Orbis dropped 6.8% after the cosmetics maker reported disappointing quarterly results.
Ship builder Hitachi Zosen lost 6.6%, while drugmaker Kyowa Kirin shed 6.4% also on earnings disappointment.
Trading house Mitsui & Co dropped 4.0% after its quarterly results came in line with analyst forecasts but rival Marubeni rose 3.4% after a consensus-beating earnings.
Other gainers included electronic parts makers TDK Corp and Kyocera that jumped 8.7% and 5.3%, respectively, on brisk results.
Dexerials rose by its daily limit of 21.4%, after the maker of the optical and electronic materials posted strong profits, and announced a pidend hike and stock buyback plan.
Still, decliners outnumbered gainers by a ratio of 3 to 1 and all but four of the Topix 33 industry subindexes were in the red as a wide range of shares came under pressure from profit-taking ahead of a market holiday.