[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks tumbled more four per cent in early deals on Friday, playing catch-up with a global sell-off after a one-day holiday amid deepening worries about the world economy and as a stronger yen hammered exporters.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange plunged as much as 4.59 per cent, or 721.25 points, to 14,992.14 in early trade, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares declined 4.50 per cent, or 56.96 points, to 1,208.02.
"We've entered a different phase in the market," Juichi Wako, a senior strategist at Nomura Holdings, told Bloomberg News.
"We're not simply in a risk-off mode, the market's fallen to the point of pricing in a recession in the US.
"The market is saying we're worried no matter what (Federal Reserve Chair Janet) Yellen says and their reaction shows there can be no real relief until we can truly see what's happening in the US economy." In forex markets, the dollar fell to 112.10 yen from 112.39 yen in New York, far below the 114.67 yen it was trading at on Wednesday in Tokyo before the holiday.
A stronger yen is a negative for Japanese exporters' profitability and tends to dent demand for their shares.