Japanese shares fell, with the Topix (TPX) index headed for an almost four-month low, as the yen traded near a two-month high as investors shunned risk assets amid concern about the global economic outlook.
The Topix sank 3.1 percent to 1,159.49 as of 9:06 a.m. in Tokyo, poised for its lowest close since Oct. 8. All 33 industry groups retreated. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 3 percent to 14,184.22, after yesterday capping a 10 percent drop from its peak on Dec. 30. The yen traded at 101.17 per dollar today, after gaining 1 percent to its highest close since Nov. 20 yesterday. Data showing weaker-than-expected growth in U.S. manufacturing helped extend a rout in global equities.
The Nikkei 225 lost 8.5 percent last month for the biggest drop among 24 developed markets tracked by Bloomberg. That comes after the measure surged 57 percent last year, the biggest annual gain since 1972, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Bank of Japan took action to combat deflation.
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