Share prices on the Tokyo Stock Exchange plunged to this year’s lowest level Monday, with high-priced information and technology issues hit by weakness that carried over from Wall Street.
The benchmark 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average declined 472.16 points, or 2.8 percent, to 16,386.01, renewing this year’s lowest closing for the second straight trading day. The broader Topix index of all first section issues also hit the lowest closing for the year, losing 55.88 points, or 3.54 percent, to 1,522.49.
After opening at the day’s high of 16,802.66, the Nikkei lost ground rapidly, falling as low as 16,174.40 just before the end of the morning session — the lowest intraday level since June 4, 1999, when it touched 16,169.88 before ending at 16,300.75.
Brokers said investors were waiting to buy back on dips at that level, lifting the key market gauge moderately.
“With New York’s technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index remaining weak, foreign investors, the major driving force in the Tokyo stock market, are now selling Japanese stocks to take profits,” said Muneyuki Ichihara, investment information manager at Nomura Securities Co.
On Friday, the Nasdaq closed at 3,390.40, down 148.31 from its Thursday close.
Brokers said fears are growing that the index could soon slip below 3,000.
The Dow Jones industrial average also closed lower on Friday, losing 150.43 points to 10,626.85.