• KYODO, JIJI

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The Nikkei stock index ended sharply lower Tuesday, with its biggest one-day point decline in three months in a global market rout on concerns that a potential default by a giant Chinese property developer could lead to a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 660.34 points, or 2.17%, from Friday at 29,839.71, its lowest close since Sept. 6. Japanese financial markets were closed Monday for a national holiday. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 35.62 points, or 1.70%, lower at 2,064.55.

Decliners were led by iron and steel, machinery and marine transportation issues.

The day extended Wall Street falls on fears over the possible collapse of debt-plagued Chinese property giant Evergrande.

“The Nikkei index opened lower following falls of the three major U.S. indexes. Mainly business-sensitive stocks were sold on worries over the financing of the Chinese property giant,” Okasan Online Securities said in a note.

Evergrande, one of China’s biggest developers, is on the brink of collapse as it wallows in debts of more than $300 billion.

There are fears that Chinese authorities may not be able to contain the fallout of the firm’s potentially disorderly collapse, which could affect many other companies and pose contagion risks, experts say.

In Tokyo trading, Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing dropped 2.30% to ¥74,630, while SoftBank Group plummeted 4.98% to ¥6,329.

Automakers were lower with Nissan falling 2.86% to ¥556.3, Toyota sliding 0.90% to ¥9,929 and Honda losing 3.19% to ¥3,338.

Trading was suspended for Shinsei Bank, while SBI Holdings was down 1.49% to ¥2,778 after the bank said it was introducing takeover defense measures against SBI’s bid.

On Wall Street, the Dow ended down 1.8% at 33,970.47, the broad-based S&P finished down 1.7%, and the tech-rich Nasdaq fell 2.2%.

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