TOKYO, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Japanese shares on Thursday
closed at their lowest in more than two months, as investors
reacted to the U.S. Federal Reserve's hawkish projections and
the Bank of Japan's decision to maintain its ultra-easy monetary
The Nikkei 225 index opened down 0.95% and fell
through the 27,000-mark for the first time since July 19. It
later recovered slightly and ended down 0.58% at 27,153.83. The
broader Topix fell 0.25%.
The Nikkei's slide tracked broad losses on Wall Street after
the Fed delivered a widely expected 75-basis-point rate increase
and signalled no letup in its approach to tackling inflation,
forecasting more substantial hikes on its "dot plot" chart.
"The rate hike was as expected, but the upward revision of
the dot plot was considered hawkish and made some think about
the prospect of a long period of monetary tightening," said
Tomoichiro Kubota of Matsui Securities.
S&P 500 e-mini futures were last down 0.4%.
BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is set to address a press
conference after markets close in Japan, with investors primed
for further clues to the bank's future policy outlook.
"We watch for any comments by Governor Kuroda that suggest a
strong accommodative bias as they could trigger further weakness
of the yen," wrote Naohiko Baba, chief Japan economist at
Goldman Sachs, in a note.
The yen briefly reached a new 24-year low of
145.405 to the dollar after the BOJ's announcement and last
traded at 144.97.
Of the Nikkei index's 225 constituents, 150 declined, 63
advanced, and 12 traded flat.
Fast Retailing Co Ltd, SoftBank Group Corp
, and Recruit Holdings Co Ltd were the biggest
drags on the index.
Toyota Motor Corp gained 1.4% to notch the largest
Markets will be closed in Japan tomorrow for a national
(Reporting by Sam Byford and Tokyo markets team; editing by