Japanese stocks dropped for a second session Wednesday as investors sold commodity-related stocks on falling oil prices.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 159.54 points, or 0.98 percent, to finish at 16,082.55 points on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Through Monday, the index had advanced 4.5 percent during the previous four sessions.
"Oil and metal stocks were obvious candidates to get sold off, combine that with heavy futures selling and we got a sharp decline," said Motomi Hiratsuka, head of portfolio trading at BNP Paribas in Tokyo.
Oil prices have tumbled about 25 percent in the last two months, settling Tuesday at a seven-month low of US$58.68.
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. fell 5.29 percent to 1,450 yen (US$12.29) and Mitsui & Co. sank 5.53 percent to 1,435 yen (US$12.16).
Electronics issues also moved lower, with Sony Corp. losing 3.26 percent to 4,450 yen (US$37.71), and Internet services company Softbank Corp. declining 0.62 percent to 2,420 yen (US$20.51).
Nintendo Co. rose 3.31 percent to 24,670 yen (US$209.07) after the Kyoto-based company lifted its fiscal year group net profit outlook and year-end dividend plan the previous day due to strong game sales and a weaker yen.
The broader Topix index, which includes all shares on the exchange's first section, shed 15.85 points, or 0.98 percent, to 1,601.99.
First-section volume rose to 1.906 billion shares, from Tuesday's 1.499 billion shares. Decliners beat 1,459 to 187, with 49 issues unchanged.
In currencies, the U.S. dollar was trading at 117.98 yen on the Tokyo foreign exchange market at 5 p.m. (0800 GMT) Wednesday, up from 117.89 yen from late Tuesday in New York. The euro fell to US$1.2716, from US$1.2727.
The yield on Japan's 10-year government bond rose to 1.7250 percent, from Tuesday's finish of 1.6950 percent. Its price fell to 99.78 from 100.04.