Tokyo’s Nikkei stock index down 3.60%


TOKYO: Tokyo stocks tumbled more than 3.0 percent in early trade Thursday after Wall Street suffered sharp drops amid fears the Federal Reserve will reduce its monthly bond purchases in coming months.

The benchmark Nikkei index was down 3.60 percent, or 478.99 points, to 12,810.33 in the first 30 minutes of trading.

The dollar was also down, with focus on whether it will breach 95.00 yen, said Masashi Murata, senior currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in Tokyo.

“A clear breach of 95 yen will open the pair’s downside to 92 yen,” he told Dow Jones Newswires.

“This sense of uncertainty could persist until next week’s FOMC meeting,” he said, referring to the upcoming meeting of the policy-making Federal Reserve Open Market Committee.

The dollar was at 95.42 yen in early Asian trade, down from 95.88 yen in New York late Wednesday and from the 96-yen range in Tokyo Wednesday afternoon.

US stocks fell sharply in highly volatile trade Wednesday, with the Dow posting its first three-day losing streak this year amid worries about central banks’ stimulus plans.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 126.79 (0.84 percent) to 14,995.23.


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