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Tokyo stocks seen moving narrowly this week amid relative quiet

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Tokyo stocks are expected to move in a narrow range this week amid a dearth of major trading incentives, with the market’s downside likely to be solid.

Last week, the benchmark 225-issue Nikkei average on the Tokyo Stock Exchange shed 83.02 points, or 0.42 percent, to end at 19,521.59 on Friday.

Stocks moved narrowly throughout the week amid a wait-and-see mood that preceded a host of events, including the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting, the Netherlands’ general election and U.S. President Donald Trump’s budget proposal.

This week, analysts expect the Nikkei average to move between 19,300 and 19,700.

Tokyo stocks are “unlikely to show volatile moves this week with few key economic indicators to be announced,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co.’s Economic Research Department.

Ichikawa predicted that the Tokyo market’s downside “will continue to be solid” after the market showed resilience despite the yen’s rise following the Fed’s meeting. The U.S. central bank said Wednesday it expects two more rate hikes this year, a slower pace than expected by some players.

Toyo Securities Co. strategist Hiroaki Hiwada also said the market will stay on a firm note after the key events last week had little impact on Tokyo stocks.

An official at an online securities firm was bullish, saying that “investor sentiment will improve” after the key events that had weighed on the market were out of the way.

Among the few major economic indicators due out this week are U.S. existing and new housing sales for February, set for Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

Neither reports are unlikely to significantly affect dollar-yen rates and stock prices after the Fed and the Bank of Japan announced their monetary policies last week, brokers said.

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