Nikkei in partial recovery as investors reassess BOJ steps
* Nikkei nears 10,000 on futures selling after BOJ outcome * Market sees little long-term impact from BOJ moves, steadies By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average edged down on Thursday as investors digested the long-term impact on the economy from the central bank's latest steps, after initially selling stock futures that dragged down the index close to the 10,000 mark. The Nikkei shed 0.5 percent to 10,107.29 after dropping as much as 1.2 percent to 10,035.54. The moves came after the Bank of Japan eased monetary policy on Thursday afternoon by expanding its asset-buying and lending programme. It was a widely expected move in response to intensifying pressure from incoming premier Shinzo Abe to deliver bolder steps to beat deflation. The central bank topped up its asset-buying and lending programme by 10 trillion yen to 101 trillion yen by a unanimous vote, expanding stimulus for the third time in the past four months. "Some investors were disappointed with the BOJ's asset-buying amount. It expanded the programme by 10 trillion yen for both short-term and longer-term bonds, but investors were expecting as much as 10 trillion yen on just buying longer-term bonds," said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities. The BOJ also signalled a review of its current 1 percent inflation target at its next policy-setting meeting in January, when Abe will have a new cabinet in place ready to negotiate with the central bank. "Abe has been demanding an inflation target of 2 percent, but the bank postponed the decision about this without elaborating," Fujito said. Some other market analysts said investors decided that their long-term appetite would not change because of the announcements, buying back stocks soon after selling. "They reacted by selling futures at first, but they were like, 'wait a minute, this (the BOJ's meeting outcome) is not something which will turn sentiment in the long term,'" said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities, adding that some investors picked up stocks afterwards. The broader Topix was up 0.4 percent at 842.87.
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