The Japanese stock market got off to a highly negative start on Friday with investors indulging in some heavy selling at several counters following a weak lead from the U.S. and European markets where stocks tumbled overnight amid worries about eurozone debt crisis. Some weak earnings reports from top Japanese firms also contributed to the negative start.
Machinery, non-ferrous metals, construction, steel and glass & ceramics shares are among the major losers. Shares from automobile, services and precision instruments sections are also mostly trading weak.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which tumbled to around 8,525 in early trades, is currently down 107.9 points or 1.3 percent at 8,545.3.
Sharp Corp shares are down more than 28 percent after the company widened its full-year loss forecast.
Sony Corp (SNE: Quote,SON.L) shares too are down sharply on a downward revision in earnings outlook. The stock is currently trading lower by nearly 7 percent.
Nippon Sheet Glass is trading lower by over 11 percent. Mitsumi Electric is down with a loss of 9 percent. Teijin is down 6.2 percent, while Sumco Corp, Nippon Paper Group and Alps Electric are trading lower by 5 to 5.5 percent.
Fuji Electric, Pacific Metals, Toho Zinc, Mitsui Mining & Smelting, Konica Minolta Holdings, Toshiba Corp, JFE Holdings, Panasonic Corp, Mazda Motor and Advantest Corp (ATE: Quote) are all trading lower by 3 to 5 percent.
GS Yuasa, Japan Steel Works, Nippon Electric Glass, Sumitomo Metal Industries, Asahi Glass, Hino Motors, NEC Corp, Nikon Corp, Casio Computer, Mizuho Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (MTU: Quote) are also trading sharply lower.
Among the few gainers in the Nikkei index, Tokyo Electric Power, Konami Corp and Fast Retailing are up 3.3 to 3.6 percent.
Aozora Bank is up 2.6 percent, Taiheiyo Cement is trading 1.7 percent up and Sumitomo Osaka Cement is gaining 1.2 percent, while Toyota Motor (TM: Quote,TYT.L), Honda Motor (HMC: Quote) and Nissan Chemical Industries are up with modest gains.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the lower 78 yen range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 78.12 to the dollar.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan are trading weak. Shanghai is trading modestly higher, while Malaysia is trading flat. Markets across the region had ended on a mixed note on Thursday.
On Wall Street, stocks drifted lower on Thursday, extending the downward move seen over the course of the three previous sessions. A negative reaction to the latest headlines out of Europe contributed to the continued weakness on Wall Street.
The major averages climbed well off their worst levels going into the close but still ended the day in the red. The Dow ended down 92.2 points or 0.7 percent at 12,878.9, the Nasdaq declined 10.4 points or 0.4 percent to 2,909.8 and the S&P 500 dropped 10.1 points or 0.7 percent to 1,365.
Major European markets too ended weak on Thursday. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index lost 0.9 percent, while the German DAX index and the French CAC 40 index plummeted by 2.2 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil ended sharply lower on Thursday, due largely on concerns over the eurozone sovereign debt crisis. Crude for September delivery shed $1.78 or 2 percent to close at $87.13 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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