TOKYO: Tokyo stocks tracked Wall Street lower Thursday on worries that the battle between Israel and Hamas could spill over into a wider regional conflict.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 1.91 percent, or 611.63 points, to 31,430.62, while the broader Topix index slipped 1.36 percent, or 31.18 points, to 2,264.16.
The dollar stood at 149.72 yen against 149.93 yen in New York late Wednesday.
“A broad range of shares faced selling pressure as investors’ caution strengthened. US yields climbed on the back of the escalation of the Middle East situations,” IwaiCosmo Securities said.
Meanwhile, worries over earnings of semiconductor-related businesses also weighed on sentiment, IwaiCosmo added. A sell-off across other Asian markets discouraged bargain-hunting in Tokyo, the brokerage said.
Global investors will be keeping an eye on Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell’s speech in New York later Thursday, hoping for some clues about the bank’s plans for interest rates.
Among major shares in Tokyo, small-car maker Suzuki Motor lost 1.15 percent to 5,834 yen following a report that it would make India an export hub for electric vehicles. Mitsubishi Motors dropped 4.88 percent to 529.7 yen on a report that the carmaker would decide next week to withdraw from China.
Toyota lost 0.90 percent to 2,645 yen after the world’s top automaker partially suspended production lines in Japan because of a fire at one of its suppliers.
Chip-testing equipment maker Advantest lost 3.41 percent to 4,248 yen, engineering firm Hitachi sank 1.78 percent to 8,836 yen and shipping firm Mitsui O.S.K. Lines fell 1.14 percent to 4,067 yen.