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Tokyo shares fall on slowdown fears

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 1.05 percent, or 289.48 points, to 27,237.64. (File/AP)
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 1.05 percent, or 289.48 points, to 27,237.64. (File/AP)
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19 Dec 2022 04:12:30 GMT9
19 Dec 2022 04:12:30 GMT9

Tokyo stocks marked a third straight losing session Monday after renewed fears of a global slowdown drove Wall Street shares down.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 1.05 percent, or 289.48 points, to 27,237.64, while the broader Topix index lost 0.76 percent, or 14.80 points, to 1,935.41.

The market remained under selling pressure as investors worried about a possible recession, with international central bankers continuing to discuss hawkish plans to fight inflation.

Some observers worry about a period of stagflation in which prices keep rising but growth stalls.

“Last week, concerns emerged again that the US economy would make a hard landing” involving a recession phase due to inflation and high interest rates, chief strategist Masayuki Kubota of Rakuten Securities said in a note.

The global market is growing nervous that the Fed’s moves might be “overkill”, as fresh data show inflation might have peaked, Daiwa Securities said.

“Hawkish comments from senior Fed officials continued to dominate the sentiment of the global financial market,” Daiwa said in a commentary.
The market also monitored the yen’s bias toward appreciation with caution, the brokerage added.

The dollar fetched 135.98 yen in Asian trade, against 136.68 yen in New York on Friday.

“A broad range of shares fell, including exporters,” Daiwa said.

Among Tokyo shares, Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing fell 1.10 percent to 80,700 yen.

Advantest, which makes testing kits for semiconductors, fell 1.47 percent to 9,390 yen.

Banking shares firmed after a weekend report that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was planning to review a joint statement from the government and central bank that stipulates a two percent inflation target for the Bank of Japan.

No change is expected, though, until central bank governor Haruhiko Kuroda steps down in early April.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group added 1.45 percent to 772.2 yen. Mizuho Financial Group rose 0.65 percent to 1,698.5 yen.

Toshiba dived 6.86 percent to 4,424 yen after a weekend report by the Nikkei said a purchase proposal by the Japan Industrial Partners-led consortium could be cheaper than the 2.2 trillion yen ($16 billion) previously expected by market observers.


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