TOKYO: Tokyo stocks could not take a positive start and fell 1.59 percent on Wednesday morning following a sell-off across global markets, as a powerful yen put stress on exporters.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange tumbled 282.99 points to 17,530.39 by the break. while the Topix index of all first-section issues was down 1.53 percent, or 21.95 points, at 1,414.14.
Equities markets were down globally on Tuesday, hit by worries ranging from tightened Chinese lending rules to political uncertainty in Greece.
The yen, considered a safe haven in the time of turmoil, rose against the dollar.
The greenback was at 119.52 yen early Wednesday, down from 119.63 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon and 120.18 yen in Tokyo earlier Tuesday.
The stronger yen spurred profit-taking for the second straight session.
“This kind of sell-off — which is still by no means that severe — has been a long time coming, and healthy for the market,” said Naoki Fujiwara, fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management.
The Nikkei rose to its highest level in more than seven years on Monday, in tandem with the yen’s fall.
Investors were also seen locking in profits ahead of major events such as national elections in Japan at the weekend and a policy meeting of the US Federal Reserve next week.
Bucking the overall downtrend, Skymark shares jumped 8.65 percent to 251 yen on the possibility of the struggling budget carrier getting assistance from the nation’s two biggest airlines.
The firm said Wednesday it was considering asking for help from domestic giant All Nippon Airways, even while eyeing a tie-up with ANA’s rival Japan Airlines.
Many exporters were lower, with Toyota down 2.44 percent at 7,566.0 yen and Canon off 2.32 percent at 3,805.5 yen.Construction machinery maker Komatsu dropped 4.24 percent to 2,726.5 yen.
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