Tokyo stocks close down

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JapanBrokerage REUTERS A man looks at his watch as he passes an electronic board displaying a graph of currency rates outside a brokerage in Tokyo.

Tokyo - Tokyo stocks closed 2.51 percent lower on Monday following a sell-off on Wall Street and as the dollar sank against the yen on concerns over emerging economies.

The benchmark Nikkei-225 index fell 385.83 points to 15,005.73, its lowest finish in more than 10 weeks, while the Topix index of all first-section shares slipped 2.69 percent, or 35.37 points, to 1,229.23.

The market turned down as the yen rose sharply against the dollar - a negative for exporters - with investors flocking to the safe-haven Japanese unit as emerging market currencies continued their descent.

In forex markets, the dollar bought 102.45 yen, up slightly from 102.30 yen on Friday in New York where it had dropped from 103.24

the previous day.

Doubts about the prospects for growth in Japanese corporate earnings was another key selling cue, said Hiroichi Nishi, SMBC Nikko Securities general manager of equities.

A string of blue-chip Japanese firms including Nintendo, Honda and Toshiba release their April-December financial results this week.

“To a certain extent, this kind of selloff has been a long time coming since much of the global equity markets' growth in advanced countries has come on the back of 'artificial' easy money policy,” said Kenichi Hirano, market analyst at Tachibana Securities.

“The return to natural market-driven forces is not going to go without a hitch or two,” he told Dow Jones Newswires.

Focus will be on the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting that starts Tuesday to see if it will further cut its stimulus programme after announcing a reduction last month.

In Tokyo share trading, industrial machinery maker Komatsu fell 3.93 percent to 2,027 yen, Honda lost 1.87 percent to 3,920 yen and Nintendo fell 2.21 percent to 13,260 yen.

Fast Retailing closed down 1.60 percent at 37,600 yen after the operator of Japanese cheap-chic clothing chain Uniqlo said it was planning a secondary share listing in Hong Kong. - Sapa-AFP


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