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Japans Nikkei Dips on BOJs ETF purchase plan

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TOKYO, March 19 Reuters Japans benchmark Nikkei index fell while the broader Topix hit a 30year high, as the Bank of Japan BOJ said it would only buy Topixlinked exchange traded funds after a review of its policy framework.

The Nikkei share average closed 1.41 lower at 29,792.05, while the broader Topix inched up 0.18 to 2,012.21, its highest since 1991.

The Nikkeis fall accelerated after the BOJ said it would only buy ETFs that are linked to the Topix index. It also said it would buy up to 12 trillion yen 110.21 billion at most, and slightly broadened a trading band for its 10year bond yield target, as widely expected.

The impact of the BOJs move on the Nikkei will be limited, said Shingo Ide, chief equity strategist at NLI Research Institute. It will contribute to a healthy correction in the NT ratio.

The socalled NT ratio of the Nikkei and Topix dropped to 14.81 from 15.04 on Thursday. It had hit a record high of 15.68 earlier this month.

Nikkei heavyweights fell, with Uniqlo clothing store operator Fast Retailing shedding 6.1 and startup investor SoftBank Group losing 2.46.

Bluechip technology shares also declined, with Tokyo Electron dropping 2.59 and Fanuc slipping 2.93.

The sea transport sector advanced. Nippon Yusen jumped 4.24, Mitsui OSK Lines rose 2.77 and Kawasaki Kisen gained 2.74.

Japans top three banks gained amid rising interest rates, with Mizuho Financial adding 1.39, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial up 1.95 and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial climbing…

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