Japanese stocks plummeted 2 per cent Thursday following heavy losses on Wall Street and as export-oriented issues were pulled down by the yen's strength against the euro, according to dpa.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 180.90 points, or 2.07
per cent, to 8,560.26 while the broader-based Topix index was down
12.59 points, or 1.66 per cent, at 744.54.
For the week, the Nikkei fell 3.43 per cent while the Topix was
down 3.07 per cent.
The Nikkei dropped further in the afternoon as some other Asian
markets fell sharply. By midafternoon, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index
had plunged 3.72 per cent and South Korea's Kospi Index had plummeted
2.46 per cent.
Exporters fell as the Japanese currency was hovering around the
lower-104-yen range to the euro.
A stronger yen makes Japanese goods more expensive overseas and
hurts repatriated earnings.
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 2.49 per cent
overnight after the US Federal Reserve issued a more pessimistic
outlook than after its last statement on August 9, citing
"significant downside risks to the economic outlook, including
strains in global financial markets."
The United States is a key market for Japanese exporters.
The Tokyo market is closed on Friday for a public holiday.
On currency markets at 3 pm (0600 GMT), the dollar traded at
76.75-76 yen, up from Wednesday's 5 pm quote of 76.34-36 yen.
The euro traded at 1.3559-3565 dollars, down from 1.3674-3676
dollars Wednesday, and at 104.07-10 yen, down from 104.38-41 yen.