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Financial stocks retreat as Fed holds rates steady

Prospect of better profitability dims at Japanese banks

TOKYO -- The wind has been taken out of Japanese financial stocks' sails after the U.S. Federal Reserve elected to keep interest rates steady, deflating hopes that profitability will soon recover at banks. 

The Nikkei Stock Average rose 29 points to 20,079 on Thursday, but financial stocks trended down across the board. Chiba Bank and Mebuki Financial Group both slid as much as 2%, while Japan's three megabanks also fell in unison. Nomura Holdings and Dai-ichi Life Holdings were also sold.

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