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[TOKYO] Tokyo shares opened 1.57 per cent lower Friday following an overnight sell-off on Wall Street on increasing worries over the global economy.
The Nikkei-225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 314.87 points to 19,718.65 in the first minutes of trading.
The Topix index of all first section shares fell 1.74 per cent, or 28.33 points, to 1,595.55.
Global investors' risk appetite has fallen as concerns have mounted that China's slowdown would drag on global growth.
"The environment surrounding markets has changed with the Chinese economy slowing and commodity prices plunging," Ryuta Otsuka, a strategist at Toyo Securities, told Bloomberg News.
"Investors are unable to have confidence in either the economy or corporate earnings," he added.
Dealers said markets remained under pressure from the uncertainties over China after the shock devaluation of the yuan last week added to fears that growth in the world's second biggest economy is slowing more than thought.
Plunging oil prices also weighed on investor sentiment.
The weak start in Tokyo came after the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 2.06 percent at 16,990.69, its lowest finish this year.
The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 2.11 per cent while the tech-rich Nasdaq slumped 2.82 per cent.
In currency markets, the dollar stood at 123.40 yen, nearly flat from 123.38 yen in New York Thursday.
The euro was also rangebound at US$1.1236 and 138.68 yen, compared with US$1.1241 and 138.69 yen in New York.