Tokyo: Japanese share prices fell 0.8% in morning trade on Thursday, 7 February, after fresh losses on Wall Street sparked by concerns about inflationary pressures in the US, dealers said.
They said that a warning from a Federal Reserve official about the potential dangers of inflation had added to concerns about the health of the world’s largest economy amid rising fears of a recession.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange’s benchmark Nikkei-225 index dropped 104.21 points to 12,995.03 by the lunch break. The broader TOPIX index of all first-section shares fell 16.30 points or 1.26% to 1,282.11.
Decliners outnumbered gainers 1,310 to 327 with 84 issues unchanged.
Turnover dipped to 1.082 billion shares, from 1.118 billion Wednesday morning.
The Nikkei index dropped below the psychologically important level of 13,000 points for the first time in two weeks.
Uncertainty over the fallout from the US subprime loan crisis was weighing on sentiment, dealers said.
Mazda Motor dropped 25 yen or 5.7% to 414 after Japan’s fifth-largest automaker said its operating profit hit a record in the nine months to December, driven by brisk sales in overseas markets and a weak yen.
By sector, steels and banks were major losers while shipping stocks were major winners.
Nippon Steel declined 28 yen or 4.7% to 568, while JFE Holdings shed 140 yen or 3.2% to 4.260.
Among banks, Mizuho Financial was down 16,000 yen or 3.5% at 444,000, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial fell 38 yen or 3.9% to 939 and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial lost 26,000 yen or 3.2% to 875,000.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was flat at 445 yen after reporting that its net profit rose 41% in the nine months to December.