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  • Japan: Nikkei gains on dovish U.S. Fed outlook
  • June 20,2019  11:12
  • The Japan share market advanced for second straight session on Thursday, 20 June 2019, following Wall Street's rally overnight after the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged overnight but signalled rate cuts of as much as half a percentage point over the remainder of 2019. Total 22 subsectors out of 33 subsectors of the Topix's index advanced, with Marine Transportation, Securities & Commodities Futures, Real Estate, Glass & Ceramics Products, and Precision Instruments issues being notable gainers, while Transportation Equipment, Oil & Coal Products, and Air Transportation issues were notable losers. At closing bell, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average advanced 0.57%, or 120.90 points, to 21,454.77, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 0.25%, or 3.85 points, at 1,559.12.

    The US share market climbed for a third day on Wednesday, after the Fed left interest rates unchanged at its monetary policy meeting, dropped the word “patient” from its statement and said it would “act as appropriate” to sustain the economy. Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 38.46 points to close at 26,504, while the S&P 500 rose 0.3% to finish its trading day stateside at 2,926.46. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.4% to close at 7,987.32.

    The Federal Reserve signaled potential interest cuts later this year, reassuring investors worried that the US-China trade war could stall economic growth. Saying it “will act as appropriate to sustain” economic expansion, the central bank signaled rate cuts of as much as half a percentage point over the remainder of 2019. In its statement following a two-day policy meeting, the Fed held rates steady, as expected, but dropped a previous promise to be “patient” in adjusting rates. The central bank remained mostly optimistic about the economic outlook, but said inflationary pressures have receded, compelling it to lower its forecast for PCE inflation in 2019 to 1.5% from 1.8%, below its 2% target. At the same time, it left its gross domestic product estimate at 2.1%. Meanwhile, the Federal Open Market Committee's “dot plot” of likely federal funds rate changes shows one rate cut next year and one hike in 2021 but there was a wide range of forecasts around that median.

    Meanwhile, on the U.S.-China trade front, hopes in Beijing appear to have risen for a trade deal between the two economic powerhouses. U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese Xi Jinping are set to meet at the upcoming G-20 summit in Japan, which will happen next week. Trump said talks between the “respective teams” would begin prior to that. Trade tensions between the two economic powerhouses had worsened in recent weeks with both raising tariffs on billions of dollars worth of their goods. Trump had also previously suggested that additional levies could be imposed on more Chinese imports.

    ECONOMIC NEWS- Japan Central Bank keeps policy steady, warns of heightening global risks-- As widely expected, on a 7-2 majority the Board of Japan's Central Bank on Thursday (20 June 2019) left its interest rates steady following suit with the U.S. Fed's decision. The BoJ in its accompanying statement of its policy decision said downside risks regarding overseas economies are big.

    CURRENCY NEWS: Japanese yen appreciated against greenback on Thursday, after the Federal Reserve signalled it was ready to lower interest rates to combat growing global and domestic risks. The Japanese yen traded at 107.66 against the dollar after touching levels around 108.6 in the previous session.

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