Nikkei ends lower on trade worries but weak yen caps losses

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
Nikkei ends lower on trade worries but weak yen caps losses
Credit: © Reuters.

* BOJ keeps ultra-loose monetary policy

* Subaru tumbles after co says it halted output at sole factory in Japan

* Bridgestone falls after it says to buy Tomtom's Telematics for $1 bln

* Dec exports fall more than expected

By Ayai Tomisawa

TOKYO, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei ended lower on Wednesday as weaker-than-expected December exports and concerns over U.S.-China relations added to worries about the outlook for the trade-reliant economy, though a softer yen offset pressure on exporters.

The Nikkei share average .N225 ended down 0.1 percent at 20,593.72, after flitting between negative and positive territory.

The broader Topix .TOPX underperformed and ended 0.6 percent lower at 1,547.03. Declining issues outweighed advancing ones 1,586 to 469.

As expected, the Bank of Japan trimmed its inflation forecasts but maintained its ultra-loose monetary policy at the end of a two-day meeting on Wednesday. the trade dispute between the United States and China was the key worry of the day.

A report by the Financial Times that the United States had rejected China's offer for preparatory trade talks rekindled worries about their dispute, though White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow later denied it. to the market open, Japan reported exports in December fell the most in more than two years and by more than expected, dragged by plummeting shipments to China and regional markets as weak global demand and U.S.-Sino trade frictions take their toll on the economy. is in a difficult position because of its economic reliance on the United States and China. Japan's cyclical stocks depend on demand from the two counties," said Takatoshi Itoshima, a strategist at Pictet Asset Management.

Some exporters rebounded as the dollar rose 0.3 percent to 109.65 yen, recovering from 109.4 yen in early Asian trade. Olympus Corp 7733.T and Daikin Industries 6367.T added 0.6 percent.

Subaru Corp 7270.T stumbled nearly 7 percent at one point after the automaker said its sole car factory in Japan had halted output a week ago after it discovered a defect in a component. The company later recovered some ground and ended 3.4 percent lower after it gave further details. Corp 5108.T shed 1.7 percent after the tire maker said it will buy TomTom's TOM2.AS fleet business Telematics for $1 billion. Display Inc 6740.T jumped 19 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company is in investment talks with Taiwan's TPK Holdings and Chinese state-owned Silk Road Fund.

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