[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks opened 1.33 per cent lower Wednesday, following drops on Wall Street and a rise in the yen as investors fled to safer assets on concerns over the global economy.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange lost 209.23 points to 15,574.60 at the start.
US stocks finished sharply lower on Tuesday after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) trimmed its global growth forecast while Germany posted a second straight day of disappointing economic data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 1.60 per cent to 16,719.39.
The dollar was at 108.11 yen early Wednesday, slightly up from 108.02 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon but well below 108.57 yen in Tokyo earlier Tuesday.
The euro bought 136.89 yen, up from 136.84 yen in New York but down from 137.17 yen in Tokyo Tuesday.
Investors grew wary after the IMF warned of stagnation in advanced economies on Tuesday as it trimmed its growth forecast for the whole world.
The yen is often bought in time of turmoil and uncertainty. But a stronger currency hurts Japanese exports as it makes them more expensive abroad and erodes profits when repatriated.
The IMF lowered its forecast for global growth this year to 3.3 per cent, down 0.1 percentage points from July and 0.4 point less than it envisaged in April.
The 2015 outlook has been cut to 3.8 per cent growth, compared with 4.0 per cent previously forecast.
Separately new German data on Tuesday showed that industrial production in Europe's largest economy had suddenly slumped 4.0 per cent in August. - AFP