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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks were flat in early deals on Monday, with trading quiet ahead of a long-awaited interest rate decision from the US Federal Reserve this week.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange slipped 49.10 points to 18,215.12 in early trade.
Worries over the growth of China’s economy have added uncertainty to equity markets ahead of the US central bank interest rate decision on September 17.
Dealers said weak Chinese industrial production and fixed asset investment data released over the weekend added to concerns Asia’s largest economy is slowing more than thought.
“The slowdown in China is continuing,” Shoji Hirakawa, chief equity strategist at Okasan Securities in Tokyo, told Bloomberg News. “The fact that investment is slowing down is especially worrying, and it’s negative if you see it as proof that China’s policies have been unsuccessful so far,” said Mr Hirakawa.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was led lower by telecom companies, after media reported comments from the Japanese prime minister that it was important to reduce the burden on households from mobile phone fees. US stocks pushed broadly higher on Friday, recovering some of the losses ahead of the Fed’s meeting.
The dollar edged up to 120.68 yen in early Tokyo trade from 120.57 yen Friday in New York. The euro was slightly stronger at 136.95 yen against 136.64 yen, while it ticked up to US$1.1349 from US$1.1333