Tokyo stocks open lower on strong yen after Fed meeting outcome

©Kyodo News

Tokyo stocks opened lower Thursday as exporters were weighed down by the yen's firmness against the dollar after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled a prolonged zero-interest rate policy.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 68.52 points, or 0.29 percent, from Wednesday to 23,407.01. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 1.03 points, or 0.06 percent, at 1,643.32.

Decliners were led by land and air transportation, and transportation equipment issues.

The dollar dropped to the upper 104 yen range overnight in New York after the Fed indicated interest rates will be kept near zero at least through 2023 to support the fragile economic recovery as the coronavirus pandemic lingers.

Investors are now awaiting the outcome later in the day of the Bank of Japan's two-day monetary-policy meeting.

At 9 a.m., the dollar fetched 105.05-06 yen compared with 104.91-105.01 yen in New York and 105.24-26 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The euro was quoted at $1.1803-1804 and 123.99-124.03 yen against $1.1812-1822 and 123.93-124.03 yen in New York and $1.1860-1862 and 124.82-86 yen in Tokyo late Wednesday afternoon.