Tokyo Stocks Plunge as U.S. Rate Hike Fears Linger


Tokyo stocks closed lower for the fifth straight trading day on Wednesday amid fears of further interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock index, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 711.06 points, or 2.28 percent, from Tuesday to close the day at 30,526.88, marking the lowest level in about five months since May 17.

The broader Topix index, meanwhile, finished 56.58 points, or 2.49 percent, lower at 2,218.89.

Market watchers here noted a widespread selling of stocks in the Tokyo market due to a sense of relative overvaluation, with the U.S. long-term rate rising to a 16-year high.

Selling of value-laden semiconductor-related stocks such as Tokyo Electron and Advantest also pushed the Nikkei Stock Average lower on Wednesday.

On the top-tier Prime Market, decliners were led by transportation equipment, iron and steel, and bank issues.

Issues that fell outpaced those that rose by 1,690 to 132, while 13 ended the day unchanged.