TOKYO: Japanese stocks fell for a third day after the yen jumped against the dollar by the most in three months, damping the outlook for exporters.
The Topix index retreated 1 percent to 1,540.35 in Tokyo, closing at its lowest in more than a month. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 1.3 percent to 19,046.55. The yen traded at 121.68 per dollar after jumping 1.2 percent on Wednesday, the most since Sept. 1. Crude oil in the U.S. fell to the lowest level in more than six years amid ongoing concerns of a global supply glut.
“Oil is still excessively low at this price and concerns that this will be the status quo is making investors avoid risk for now,” Mitsushige Akino, executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management Co. in Tokyo said by phone. “With the yen strengthening, exporters and manufacturers are likely to be at the center of risk-off moves.”
The greenback’s weakness weighed on exporters, sending Mazda Motor Corp. 2.7 percent lower. Subaru automaker Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., which relies on North America for 60 percent of sales, lost 1.7 percent.
The Nikkei 225 has slumped 4.8 percent since closing at a three-month high of 20,012.40 on Dec. 1. The gauge is approaching its 50-day moving average, a technical signal watched by traders.