Japanese Stocks Join Rout as Topix Index Nears Correction

Japanese stocks slumped, joining a global equities rout as the Topix Index neared a correction amid concern about weakening economic growth.

Toyota Motor Corp., which gets 75 percent of its auto sales abroad, declined 3.9 percent. ANA Holdings Inc. sank 5.3 percent as airlines lost the most among the 33 Topix industry groups, all of which fell. SoftBank Corp., a wireless carrier controlled by Masayoshi Son, slid 3.1 percent.

The Topix index dropped 2.3 percent to 1,214.27, the lowest close since May 30, after resuming from a holiday. The gauge has tumbled 9.8 percent from a six-year high on Sept. 25. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average retreated 2.4 percent to 14,936.51 today. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said at the weekend that U.S. interest-rate increases could be delayed by slowing growth abroad. The yen slipped 0.2 percent today to 107.09 per dollar, paring its gain over the past four days to 0.9 percent.

“Japan has been hit hard on the yen strength,” said Chris Weston, Melbourne-based chief market strategist at IG Ltd. There’s been “a plethora of negative news over the last two weeks that has many questioning the global growth story.”

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.4 percent today. The underlying gauge yesterday lost 1.7 percent, capping the worst three-day loss since 2011, as investors weighed prospects for slowing global growth and the spread of Ebola.

Foreign Growth

“If foreign growth is weaker than anticipated, the consequences for the U.S. economy could lead the Fed to remove accommodation more slowly than otherwise,” Fischer said Oct. 11 in a speech at the International Monetary Fund’s annual meeting in Washington.

The Fed officials’ comments came three days after minutes of the central bank’s September meeting showed authorities highlighted worries over the risks posed to the U.S. economy by deteriorating expansions abroad and a stronger dollar, which could hurt exports and damp inflation.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., BlackRock Inc. and Google Inc. are among S&P 500 members posting earnings this week. Profit for companies in the index probably rose 4.8 percent and sales gained 4.2 percent in the third quarter, analysts projected.

Exporters and banks were among the largest drags on the Topix index today. Toyota Motor sank 3.9 percent to 5,978 yen. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s biggest lender, dropped 2 percent to 577.4 yen and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. declined 2.3 percent to 4,023.5 yen.

ANA Holdings lost 5.3 percent to 230.1 yen and Japan Airlines Co. declined 5.5 percent to 2,652 yen. They are the nation’s two largest carriers. The Topix Air Transport Index posted the largest decline among 33 industry groups, falling 5.3 percent.

SoftBank lost 3.1 percent to 6,877 yen, the lowest closing level since August.

Tokyo Electron Ltd. slumped 6.7 percent to 6,307 yen, the most since August 2013, following a selloff in semiconductors in the U.S.

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