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Tokyo stocks end 2.25% lower, Nikkei 225 falls 400.80pts

Tokyo stocks end 2.25% lower, Nikkei 225 falls 400.80pts

TOKYO: Tokyo stocks have finished 2.25 per cent lower following a sell-off across international markets, as a powerful yen pressured exporters.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange tumbled 400.80 points to 17,412.58 on Wednesday, suffering the worst points loss in more than three weeks.
The Topix index of all first-section issues was down 2.04 per cent, or 29.26 points, at 1,406.83.
The yen, considered a safe haven in the time of turmoil, rose against the US dollar on worries ranging from tightened Chinese lending rules to political uncertainty in Greece.
The greenback was at 118.69 yen on Wednesday afternoon, down from 119.63 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon and 120.18 yen in Tokyo earlier on Tuesday.
After the recent buying binge that boosted the Nikkei to a seven-year high, investors “wanted to square positions” to lock in profits, said Toshihiko Matsuno, senior strategist at SMBC Friend Securities.
“They were waiting for a cue (for selling), which could be anything,” he said.
Monday’s downward revision in Japanese July-September growth data had too small an impact to trigger selling.
“But the 5 per cent drop in Shanghai yesterday was a tough one” although the stocks rebounded somewhat on Wednesday, Matsuno said.
Equities markets were down globally on Tuesday with Shanghai shares plunging 5.43 per cent on worries over tighter lending rules.
Greek stocks dived 12.78 per cent in their biggest one-day drop in nearly three decades after the government unexpectedly brought forward a high-stakes presidential vote to December 17.
“In Greece it looks as if the current government is gambling,” he said adding there was “no wonder” if fears of further eurozone turmoil were revived.
Investors also want to decide on their next move after seeing the result of snap elections in Japan on Sunday, he said.
Bucking the overall downward trend, Skymark shares rocketed up 17.31 per cent to 271 yen on the possibility of the struggling budget carrier getting assistance from the nation’s two biggest airlines.