Japanese shares dip on caution before Fed Powell's remarks

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Japanese shares dip on caution before Fed Powell's remarks
Credit: © Reuters.

* Nikkei down 0.15%, Topix loses 0.23%

* Tumble in machine tool orders weigh on machinery makers

* Yoshinoya soars after it posts net profit for March-May

By Ayai Tomisawa and Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO, July 10 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei edged down on Wednesday, confined to a tight range as investors awaited key testimony on the U.S. economy from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

The Nikkei share average .N225 ended the day down 0.15% at 21,533.48.

Markets are bracing for Powell's comments, in two days of testimony before the U.S. Congress starting later on Wednesday, in which he may support or confound expectations for U.S. policy easing.

Global equities had advanced earlier this month on the prospect of the Fed easing monetary policy. But the markets have lost some momentum recently as the prospect of aggressive easing has faded after a stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs report.

"Investors are nervous as they wait to find out from Powell's comments on whether the Fed will continue cutting rates or not," said Yutaka Miura, a senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities.

Machinery shares languished after Japan Machine Tool Builders' Association said on Tuesday that June orders for machine tools tumbled 38% to 98.8 billion yen ($907.25 million), falling for the ninth consecutive month. Fanuc Corp 6954.T slipped 2.1% and Yaskawa Electric 6506.T dropped 1.5%, while Keyence Corp 6861.T shed 0.7%.

Chiba Bank 8331.T rallied 3.8% after the lender and Bank Of Yokohama said they were considering a business tie-up. Financial Group 7186.T , Bank of Yokohama's parent company, gained 1.2%.

Japan Post Insurance Co 7181.T lost 5.1% following reports that it had double charged life insurance premiums to its customers.

Yoshinoya Holdings 9861.T , which operates beef bowl fast food restaurants, surged 8.8% after it posted a net profit of 1.097 billion yen in the March-May period, compared with a net loss of 388 million yen in the previous year. broader Topix .TOPX fell 0.23% to 1,571.32.

Declining shares outnumbered gainers 1,297 to 764.

($1 = 108.9000 yen) (Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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