Tokyo stocks fell back for the first time in five trading days Wednesday, with the Nikkei Stock Average sliding 278.64 points, or 2.56%, to end the day at 10,600.44, its lowest close since Jan. 9.
The benchmark index logged the largest loss since Nov. 14, when then-Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said he would dissolve the lower house of the Diet. The losses were also the largest since August 2011, according to the (Nikkei.com) website.
The dollar weakened to the upper-87 yen range at one point, prompting selling of exporters. Also pushing down the Nikkei average was bearish market sentiment throughout Asia.
The Nikkei Stock Average widened its losses toward the market close, led by downward by stock index futures, briefly dropping below 10,600.
Trading value on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange totaled about 2.02 trillion yen on a preliminary basis.