Tokyo: Japan’s Nikkei average fell 1.7% on Wednesday, 9 April, as exporters suffered from revived worries about the US economy, while a brokerage downgrade on Tokyu Land Corp triggered a sell-off in property shares.
The broader Topix index shed 2.1% to 1,255.66 as of 0436 GMT as financials weighed on the market amid fears about a global financial crisis.
Astellas Pharma Inc fell 3.5% to 4,150 yen, one day after it lost US patent protection on transplant drug Prograf amid worries its market share may erode more quickly than expected despite only mild generic competition for such drugs in the past.
“Even if you suppose the worst is over for financials, the worst time for the economy and corporate earnings is still to come,” said Soichiro Monji, chief strategist of the equity management department at Daiwa SB Investments.
“Profit-taking and the forming of new short positions became particularly apparent in the afternoon session. The Nikkei had neared the next target of 13,500 and the Topix had topped 1,300.”
The benchmark Nikkei shed 224.44 points to 13,025.99.
Sentiment has soured in the market after Washington Mutual Inc, the largest U.S. savings and loan firm, warned of a large quarterly loss, while Federal Reserve minutes stoked fears of a “prolonged and severe economic downturn”.
Weak outlooks from chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices and semiconductor equipment maker Novellus Systems Inc also fuelled concerns about business and consumer spending.
Exporters fell, with Canon Inc down 2.1% at 4,750 yen and Honda Motor Co Ltd giving up 2.7% to 2,860 yen.
Tokyu Land Corp tumbled 9 percent to 639 yen after Credit Suisse cut its rating to “underperform” from “neutral”, citing a weak outlook for the property market due to an economic slowdown.
Realtor Mitsui Fudosan Co Ltd fell 4.1% to 2,215 yen and Sumitomo Realty & Development, a real estate developer, dropped 6.1% to 1,976 yen.
The real estate subindex IRLTY.slid 4.7%. Financials also weighed on the market.
Japan’s biggest brokerage, Nomura Holdings Inc, lost 3.5% to 1,555 yen, while top lender Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group fell 2.8% to 941 yen and No.2 bank Mizuho Financial Group declined 3% to 391,000 yen.