By RTT News,
December 11, 2013, 09:21:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - The Japanese stock market is down sharply on Thursday, with investors indulging in some heavy selling across the board amid concerns the U.S. Federal Reserve will start scaling down its stimulus plan sooner than later.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which tumbled to 15,261.4 after opening at 15,377.7, is currently trading at 15,325.3, down 189.8 points or 1.2 percent from its previous close.
Nitto Denko Corp. is down more than 16 percent. Sumitomo Chemical, Kuraray Co. and Konica Minolta are down 4 to 6 percent.
Yahoo Japan, NTN Corp., Nikon Corp., Chiyoda Corp., Mitsumi Electric, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, Fujifilm Holdings, Nippon Paper Industries, Isuzu Motors, Japan Steel Works, Fujikura, Fast Retailing, Panasonic Corp. (PC), Advantest Corp. ( ATE ) and JFE Holdings are all trading lower by more than 2 percent each.
Among the few gainers, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. and Sumitomo Osaka Cement are up more than 1.5 percent each. T&D Holdings, Osaka Gas, Shimizu Corp., Tokyo Tatemono, Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and Bridgestone Corp. are trading higher by 0.4 to 1 percent.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the mid-102 yen range in early deals in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 102.68 to the U.S. dollar.
Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan are trading notably lower. Hong Kong and Singapore are down with modest losses, while Shanghai is down marginally.
On Wall Street, stocks ended notably lower on Wednesday, adding to the modest losses posted in the previous session. The continued pullback came as traders expressed renewed concerns about the outlook for the Federal Reserve's stimulus program.
The major averages crept up off their worst levels going into the close but still ended the day firmly in the red. The Dow slid 129.6 points or 0.8 percent to 15,843.5, the Nasdaq tumbled 56.7 points or 1.4 percent to 4,003.8 and the S&P 500 slumped 20.4 points or 1.1 percent to 1,782.2.
Major European markets too ended weak on Wednesday. While the German DAX index dropped by 0.4 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index and the French CAC 40 index edged down by 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively.
U.S. crude oil dropped sharply to end lower on Wednesday, after the official Energy Information Administration's weekly report showed a significant, more-than-expected jump in U.S. gasoline stockpile last week, notwithstanding a massive drop in crude oil inventories.
Crude for January delivery dropped $1.07 or 1.1 percent to close at $97.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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