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Tokyo: Stocks open 0.13% lower following Fed decision

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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 0.13 per cent lower Thursday ahead of a Bank of Japan policy meeting, after the US Federal Reserve kept its near-zero benchmark interest rate unchanged and Chair Janet Yellen pledged a cautious approach.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 25.68 points to 20,193.59 in early trading.

Ms Yellen said Wednesday the Fed's first interest rate hike in nine years would likely come "later this year".

"My colleagues and I would like to see more decisive evidence that a moderate pace of economic growth will be sustained, so the conditions in the labour market will continue to improve and inflation will move back to two percent," Ms Yellen said.

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Wall Street stocks rose Wednesday following her remarks as the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.17 per cent, while the broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.20 per cent.

In Tokyo, investors are likely to be on the sidelines as Friday sees the Bank of Japan conclude its own meeting, which will be watched to see if and when it will expand its stimulus programme, brokers said.

In forex markets, the dollar was at 123.54 yen against 123.43 yen in US trade.

AFP

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