Nikkei slips as growth stocks unsettled by Fed outlook

11/23/2021 | 09:36pm

TOKYO, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei fell on Wednesday, as growth-oriented stocks took a beating from worries the U.S. Federal Reserve might speed up policy tightening to cope with the rising spectre of inflation.

U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday nominated Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell for a second four-year term and appointed Lael Brainard as vice chair.

"It's not that markets are reacting to these nominations per se. What's becoming clear is, for Powell, in his second term, the biggest task is dealing with inflation, rather than maximising employment," said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

Richly-valued U.S. tech shares fell over the last two sessions, hitting their peers in Japanese markets, which were closed on Tuesday for a national holiday.

The Nikkei average dropped 1.0%, while the broader Topix lost 0.7%. Topix Growth index fell 1.4% while Topix Value index ticked up 0.1%.

Internet firm Z Holdings, traded at multiple of more than 60 times estimated earnings, fell 5.5%, while medical platform operator M3 lost 4.5%.

Recruit Holdings shed 3.0%, while SoftBank Group , which has a big exposure to high-tech global shares, dropped 2.7%.

Semiconductor-related shares were also pounded, with Advantest down 2.9%, Screen Holdings losing 2.3% and Lasertec down 1.9%.

On the other hand, value stocks gained, with a weaker yen against the dollar lifting some carmakers and with higher U.S. bond yields boosting banks.

Mitsubishi Motors rose 5.6%, while Nissan Motor gained 4.3%. Toyota Motor added 2.1%.

Among financials, SMFG rose 2.5%, while Mitsubishi UFJ gained 0.9%.

Resource-related firms also gained, helped by a rebound in oil prices.

Trading house Marubeni jumped 3.6% while Mitsui & Co added 2.8%. Sumitomo Metal gained 3.1%.

Elsewhere, Toshiba fell 1.0% after a Reuters report that its second-largest shareholder objected to the Japanese conglomerate's plan to split itself into three companies.

(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

© Reuters 2022
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