The Japanese market is down sharply on Tuesday with investors pressing sales amid renewed worries about the financial crisis in the eurozone and its likely impact on the global economy. The overnight sharp fall on Wall Street and the yen's surge against the U.S. dollar are also contributing to the weakness in the market.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which plunged below the 9,400 mark for the first time since mid-February, is currently trading at 9,418, down 120 points or 1.3 percent from its previous close.
Machinery, steel, non-ferrous metals, pharmaceuticals and glass & ceramics shares are mostly trading lower. Automobile, financial, electric power and chemicals stocks are also trading weak.
Sony Corp, Tokyu Land Corp, Mitsui Fudosan and Nippon Meat Packers are down 3.2 to 4.5 percent. Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, Panasonic Corp, Kawasaki Kisen, Advantest, Furukawa Co, Nippon Light Metals, Nomura Holdings and Credit Saison are all trading lower by over 2.5 percent.
Kobe Steel, Nippon Steel, JFE Holdings, Honda Motor, Chiba Bank, Bank of Yokohama, Kansai Electric Power and Nippon Paper Group are down more than 2 percent.
Shares of Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical Co, tumbled by over 7 percent on a likely fall in operating profits in fiscal 2012.
Among the stocks that are bucking the trend and trading higher, Oki Electric, KDDI Corp, Chiyoda Corp, Fanuc, Alps Electric and Japan Steel Work are up 0.4 to 1.5 percent.
In economic news, core machinery orders in Japan increased much more than expected in February. The government reported that core machinery orders rose 4.8 percent, as compared to the previous month. Most economists expected orders to decrease 0.5 percent. Machinery orders were up 8.9 percent compared to one year earlier, the government report said.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the upper 80 yen range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 80.73 to the U.S. dollar.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, Shanghai, Singapore and New Zealand are trading notably lower, while Taiwan is down marginally. Markets across the region ended on a mixed note on Tuesday.
On Wall Street, stocks ended sharply lower on Tuesday amid renewed concerns about the global economic outlook. The major averages ended near their worst levels of the day. The Dow tumbled 213.7 points or 1.7 percent to 12,715.9, the Nasdaq plunged 55.9 points or 1.8 percent to 2,991.2 and the S&P 500 plummeted 23.6 points or 1.7 percent to 1,358.6.
Major European markets too closed with sharp losses on Tuesday. The French CAC 40 index lost 3.1 percent, while the German DAX index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index went down by 2.5 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil futures closed lower on Tuesday amid demand concerns after trade data from China showed imports had dropped in the second largest economy in the world. A stronger dollar too contributed to the decline.
Light Sweet Crude Oil futures for May delivery, dropped $1.44 or 1.4 percent to close at $101.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
by RTT Staff Writer
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