TOKYO, Sept 22 (Reuters) - The Nikkei hit a more than
two-week low on Wednesday as investors looked ahead warily to
the outcome of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting, seeking more
clues on when policymakers will wind down stimulus and lift
The benchmark closed down 0.67% at 29,639.40, while
the broader Topix slid 1.02% to end at 2,043.55, also
the lowest since Sept. 6.
The Nikkei briefly changed course earlier in the day to
trade higher after China Evergrande's main unit,
Hengda Real Estate Group, said it would pay some bond interest
due on Thursday, allaying fears of an imminent collapse.
That still did not push the Nikkei above 30,000, after it
lost that level on Tuesday, the start of a holiday-shortened
week, according to Shigetoshi Kamada, general manager at the
research department of Tachibana Securities.
"That is because investor focus is on the Fed meeting... how
the interest rate projections will look like and whether the Fed
will start tapering before the end of the year," he said.
The outcome of the Fed's two-day meeting is scheduled at
1800 GMT with a news conference half an hour later.
Japanese markets will be closed for another holiday on
Trading houses led the decline in Japanese
equities, dropping 2.37%. Itochu was the worst
performer among the Topix's 30 core names, losing 4.08%, while
Mitsui & Co slid 2.86%.
Machinery makers also fell, with Daikin
Industries shedding 2.94%.
Mizuho Financial slipped 1.22% after a report that
the regulator would oversee system management at the banking
group following a series of technical failures.
Peer Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group gained 1.42%
after it said it would pull back from U.S. retail banking with
the $8 billion sale of MUFG Union Bank.
Some heavyweight names were among the other top gainers.
Start-up investor SoftBank Group advanced 1.9% and
Uniqlo clothing shop-owner Fast Retailing gained 1.78%.
Nintendo rose 1.1%.
(Reporting by Junko Fujita; Additional reporting by Kevin
Buckland; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Devika Syamnath)