• Kyodo

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Tokyo stocks tumbled Thursday amid fears of a global economic downturn due to growing U.S.-China trade tensions, with the benchmark Nikkei index ending at its lowest level in nearly seven months.

The 225-issue Nikkei average ended down 822.45 points, or 3.72 percent, from Wednesday at 21,268.73.

The broader Topix index of all first section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 51.15 points, or 3.1 percent, lower at 1,600.92.

Every industry category in the main section lost ground, led by services, glass and ceramic products, and miscellaneous product issues.

Tokyo shares fell sharply after a sell-off Wednesday on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped over 2 percent on weaker-than-expected U.S. corporate earnings and outlook reports including from leading chipmaker Texas Instruments Inc.

Investor sentiment was dented by fears that higher raw material costs and a weak global demand outlook — partly due to the tariff battle between the United States and China — would weigh on U.S. corporate earnings and cause downward pressure on global stock markets.

“Investors grew cautious about the weaker outlook due to sluggish earnings reports from U.S. companies,” said Seiki Orimi, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co.

Amid the market turbulence, the Nikkei index has lost 12 percent in the recent three weeks after hitting a 27-year high.

The Topix, meanwhile, plunged Thursday to its lowest level since September 2017.

“Market participants are also awaiting earnings reports from Japanese companies to see whether Japan’s economy will maintain its firmness,” Orimi added.

On the first section, 2,072 issues lost ground and 34 advanced, with three ending the day unchanged.

Technology issues met heavy selling following a steep fall of the U.S. Nasdaq Composite Index, with Advantest Corp. declining ¥205, or 9.8 percent, to ¥1,891 and Screen Holdings Co. dropping ¥430, or 6.9 percent, to ¥5,760.

Flea market app operator Mercari Inc., which debuted on the market in June, slipped below its initial public offering price of ¥3,000 for the first time to end down ¥212, or 6.9 percent, at ¥2,868.

Trading volume on the main section rose to 1.641 billion shares from Wednesday’s 1.418 billion shares.

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