Tokyo stocks fell for the fifth day on Friday, with a key index closing at a three-week low due to an overnight fall on Wall Street and European stocks as well as a stronger Yen.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) lost 79.55 points, or 0.90 percent, from Thursday to 8,757.60, its lowest close since October 16. The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index, which includes all First Section issues on the TSE, was down 4.61 points, or 0.63 percent, to 730.74, with 28 of 33 subindexes ending in negative territory. US and European bourses tumbled on concern over a US fiscal cliff, or a looming series of tax hikes and spending cuts.
The yen's strength against the US dollar encouraged investors to sell export-oriented issues including machinery and electronics sectors, as a stronger yen cuts the value of Japanese exporters' overseas sales when converted back into local currency.
In the currency markets, at 5:45 p.m. (0845 GMT), the US dollar traded at JPY 79.36-38 against JPY 79.44-54 in New York and JPY 79.87-88 in Tokyo at 5 p.m Thursday.