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Tokyo: Shares fall more than 3.3% at Tuesday's close on virus fears

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Tokyo shares dropped more than 3.3 per cent on Tuesday, tracking falls on global markets as fears mount that the new coronavirus outbreak will derail economic growth.

[TOKYO] Tokyo shares dropped more than 3.3 per cent on Tuesday, tracking falls on global markets as fears mount that the new coronavirus outbreak will derail economic growth.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index sank 3.34 per cent, or 781.33 points, to close at 22,605.41, while the broader Topix index was down 3.33 per cent, or 55.74 points, at 1,618.26.

Tokyo shares opened sharply lower across the board after Wall Street stocks finished with steep losses on Monday over the virus.

Selling pressure remained strong throughout the day's trading in the Tokyo market, which was closed on Monday for a national holiday.

"The loss in New York weighed heavily on buying sentiment here," said Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager at Chibagin Asset Management.

Japan's geographical proximity to and its economic ties with China fuelled worries over the virus's impact on the world's third-largest economy, Mr Okumura said.

"Players are closely watching if US shares can rebound later today," he told AFP.

The US dollar fetched 110.80 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 110.71 yen in New York on Monday.

In Tokyo, major shares dropped sharply, with Sony losing 2.80 per cent to 7,269 yen and Panasonic falling 4.81 per cent to 1,137.5 yen.

Toyota lost 3.35 per cent at 7,574 yen with Honda off 3.42 per cent at 2,935 yen and Nissan down 4.50 per cent at 481.4 yen.

AFP