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Japan's Nikkei index falls 2.3 percent on weak US dollar; exporters, financial shares lower

Japan's Nikkei index falls 2.3 percent on weak US dollar; exporters, financial shares lower

Japanese stocks fell sharply Friday as the yen climbed to its highest level against the dollar in nearly three years following U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's pessimistic remarks on the U.S. economy.
The Nikkei 225 average fell 322.49 points, or 2.3 percent, to 13,603. On Thursday, it lost 0.75 percent.
Market observers say that while many Japanese exporters are setting their exchange rates for the next fiscal year around 105 yen, further depreciation in the dollar could take a severe toll on them. A strong yen makes their exports less competitive overseas and reduces the value of repatriated earnings.
The dollar fell to 104.79 yen midafternoon Friday, down from 105.36 yen, while the euro fell to US$1.5183, from US$1.5229.
"The Nikkei may dip below the 13000-mark briefly if the dollar depreciates further," said Fujio Ando, senior managing director at Chibagin Asset Management.
Overnight, Fed Chairman Bernanke said that while large U.S. banks will likely recover from the recent credit crisis, other banks are at risk of failing. Shares dropped on Wall Street as his comments stirred concerns, with the Dow Jones industrial average losing 0.9 percent.
In Tokyo, Toyota Motor fell 2.7 percent to 5,750 yen and Mazda Motor shed 5.6 percent to 435.
Real estate and banking sector issues also fell. Mizuho Financial Group slipped 6.3 percent to 446,000 yen and Sumitomo Realty & Development fell 6.4 percent to 1,828.
The broader Topix index, which includes all shares on the exchange's first section, fell 28.82 points, or 2.13 percent, to 1,324.28.


Updated : 2021-04-13 16:46 GMT+08:00