Japan Stocks Lower as BOJ Meets

Japanese stocks fell as investors await a Bank of Japan policy decision after the Federal Reserve signaled the pace of U.S. interest-rate increases will be slow even as it prepares to raise borrowing costs this year.

Mitsui & Co. slid 1 percent after Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. cut its rating on the trading company. Nissan Motor Co., which gets almost half its sales from north America, lost 2 percent. Yamaha Corp. jumped 5.4 percent after Mizuho Financial Group Inc. boosted its outlook on the audio-equipment maker. Idemitsu Kosan Co. dropped 3.4 percent after the oil refiner said it shut its distillation unit in Japan following a fire.

The Topix slipped 0.7 percent to 1,623.14 as of 12:44 p.m. in Tokyo, with twice as many shares falling as rose. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 0.8 percent to 20,065.01. The BOJ begins a two-day meeting Thursday in Tokyo, with all 35 economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecasting Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will keep policy on hold.