The Bank of Japan has decided to tinker with its stimulus policy. According to experts, the Japanese central bank did not cause any real surprises in its interest rate decision.
Still, the Japanese stock exchange left trading with a hefty loss on Friday. The large Japanese technology companies, in particular, were sold off due to rising yields on US government bonds.
The Japanese central bank kept its key interest rates unchanged. The Bank of Japan did make other small announcements, which also caused some confusion. For example, the range within which the long-term interest rate may move was set at 0.25 percent.
Based on comments from central bank head Haruhiko Kuroda, this seemed to be a small expansion, but later, he stated that it was a clarification. Furthermore, the central bank will only buy so-called index trackers if necessary to stabilize the markets from now on.
The Nikkei in Tokyo eventually went 1.4 percent lower over the weekend at 29,792.05 points. A day earlier, the Japanese main index was able to close above 30,000 points for the first time since February 25. The maker of chip equipment Tokyo Electron and chip tester Advantest fell to 2 percent after 3 percent of the US tech gauge Nasdaq on Thursday.
Tech investor SoftBank lost more than 2 percent. On the other hand, Japanese banks benefited from the improved economic outlook and rising yields on US government bonds. Sea transport companies and airlines also gained ground.
The Chinese stock markets also showed losses due to the mounting tensions between Beijing and Washington. The stock market in Shanghai lost 1.7 percent, and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong lost 1.9 percent. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated during the summit between the United States and China in Alaska that Beijing’s specific actions pose a threat to global stability.
Blinken said he was concerned about cyberattacks on the US, Hong Kong and Taiwan’s situation, and China’s “economic coercion” on US allies.