Japanese stocks plunge 4% after Wall St sell-off

07 February 2018, 01:25 | Andres Norman

The yen’s surge against the dollar is having an impact on the benchmark Nikkei 225 index. – EPA pic

Japanese stocks plunge 4% after Wall St sell-off

The declines were led by Japan's Nikkei which took one of its steepest dives since the 1990s before recovering to close down 4.7 percent.

Finance Minister Taro Aso said he didn't want to comment on share prices, but he did ask reporters if corporate performances were getting worse, indicating they are not.

Responding to the market sell-off, the White House said Trump was focused on the long-term health of the U.S. economy, claiming the fundamentals were "exceptionally strong".

By early afternoon in Asia, Dow and S&P futures were both down more than 4 percent, suggesting a weak open for US markets.

Tokyo stocks fell nearly across the board after the Dow Jones industrial average plummeted 1,175.21 points, or 4.60 percent, in NY on Monday, incurring the worst one-day point loss ever. There was intense trading activity, with more than 40 percent of the average daily volume traded on Germany's DAX and Europe's STOXX 50 by 0845 GMT. By late morning it was down 5.2 percent at 21,511.04.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 8 points, or 0.3 percent, at 2,639.

The yen attracted purchases as a safe-haven currency following sharp falls in NY and Tokyo equities, currency traders said. A weaker dollar and stronger yen tend to hurt prices of export-oriented manufacturers in Japan.

The market was also weighed down by the yen's rise against the dollar. It was also the Dow's biggest fall on a pure points basis of all-time. The S&P 500, for example, is one of the major fallers, declining 7.8 percent since its latest record high on January 26.

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Higher inflation brings a host of worries for markets because it means the Fed could raise interest rates faster than previously expected. At 10.30 a.m., the Sensex traded lower by 1,074.79 points or 3.09 per cent to 33,682.37 points from its previous close of 34,757.16 points.

S & P mini futures fell as much as 3.0 per cent to four-month lows in Asia, extending their losses from the record peak hit just over a week ago to 12 per cent. The Nasdaq composite was little changed at 6,968.

Wall Street stocks plunged in chaotic trading today, as the Dow's gains for 2018 were erased in a brutal pullback from months of stock market euphoria that had been acclaimed by President Donald Trump.

And Wall Street looks set for another rocky ride on Tuesday. It was down 872, or 3.4 percent, to 24,651.

The broader Topix fell 4.3 percent to 1,745.79.

The Dow was down 530 points, or 2 percent, to 24,999. "The only thing that is really different is that bond yields got up to 2.8 per cent".

Buying on dips was held in check to some extent "due to concerns over further falls in US stocks", said Tomoaki Fujii, head of the investment research division at Akatsuki Securities Inc.

The sell-off started Friday when generally positive U.S.jobs figures showed strong wage growth, deepening concerns about inflation and possible rate hikes by the Federal Reserve - a good news is bad news scenario.

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