Nikkei index tumbles after US plunge
AP - 23 minutes ago
TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei index tumbled more than 6 percent Tuesday as selling spread across the board on big losses on Wall Street amid growing gloom over the global economy.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average lost 533.53 points, or 6.35 percent, to close at 7,863.69. The broader Topix index fell 4.88 percent to 787.12.
Sentiment in Tokyo turned sluggish after the Dow Jones industrial average plummeted nearly 8 percent Monday with a litany of bad economic indicators.
"A string of weak economic data really depressed sentiment," Yutaka Miura, a senior strategist at Shinko Securities Co. Ltd. "Investors are becoming more pessimistic over the state of the global economy."
In New York on Monday, selling spread across the board on Wall Street as a gauge of U.S. manufacturing activity in November fell to a 26-year low following similarly weak readings in Europe and China, fueling fears over a deepening global downturn.
The poor November report came the same day that the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private group, said the U.S. economy, the world's largest, has been in a recession since December 2007.
Kazuhiro Takahashi, an equity strategist at Daiwa Securities SMBC Co. Ltd., said the Nikkei index was under heavy selling pressure as investors were bracing for a weak November employment report due out on Friday.
"It will be yet another sign confirming the U.S. economic deterioration. Investors are simply unable to find any positive leads right now," Takahashi said.
Apart from fears over a prolonged global downturn, the Nikkei index plummeted on heavy selling of exporters on recent gains in the yen, which erodes overseas earnings. The dollar was little changed at 93.16 yen in late afternoon Tokyo trade.
Japan's top automaker, Toyota Motor Corp., tumbled 4.1 percent to 2,825 yen. Honda Motor Corp. dropped 6.9 percent to 1,886 yen.
Sony Corp. fell 4.6 percent to 1,751 yen and its rival Panasonic Corp. shed 3.3 percent to 1,111 yen.
Japanese financial giant Mizuho Financial Group Inc. plunged 8.4 percent to 228,300 yen.
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