Headline indices of the Japan share market closed lower on Wednesday, 10 July 2019, as investor sentiment was dented by tracking decline in Wall Street overnight on caution ahead of key testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for more cues on possible rate cuts by the end of July. At closing bell, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average was up 0.06%, or 13.34 points, to 21,551.81, while the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange shed 0.27%, or 4.22 points, at 1,570.67.
Total 26 subsectors out of 33 subsectors of the Topix's index declined, with Marine Transportation, Pulp & Paper, Iron & Steel, Machinery, Chemicals, and Nonferrous Metals issues being notable losers, while Mining, Precision Instruments, and Information & Communication issues were notable gainers.
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to testify in front of the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. This comes just after a stronger-than-expected jobs report raised questions about the central bank's next move on interest rates. The market has priced in a 25 basis rate cut. Investors are nervous as they wait to find out from Powell's comments on whether the Fed will continue cutting rates or not.
On the U.S.-China trade front, high level trade negotiations occurred between Beijing and Washington earlier this week, according to a U.S. official, who said “both sides will continue these talks as appropriate.”
Machinery shares languished, after Japan Machine Tool Builders' Association said on Tuesday that June orders for machine tools tumbled 38% to 98.8 billion yen ($907.25 million), falling for ninth consecutive months. Fanuc Corp slipped 1.6% and Yaskawa Electric dropped 1.4%, while Keyence Corp shed 1%.
Yoshinoya Holdings, which operates beef bowl fast food restaurants, jumped 9% after it posted a net profit of 1.097 billion yen the March-May period, compared to a net loss of 388 million yen in the previous year.
ECONOMIC NEWS: Japan Producer Prices Fall 0.5% On Month In June -- Japan producer prices dropped 0.5% on month in June, the Bank of Japan said on Wednesday, as compared to a 0.1% fall in May. On a yearly basis, producer prices fell 0.1%, down from 0.7% in the previous month. Export prices were down 1.4% on month and 3.9% on year, the bank said, while import prices tumbled 1.8% on month and 5.4% on year.
CURRENCY NEWS: Japanese yen, often seen as a safe-haven currency, depreciated against greenback on Wednesday. The Japanese yen traded at 108.88 against the dollar after seeing levels below 108.5 earlier in the week