stocks fell sharply Tuesday, turning downward after the recent rally as a resumed slide in oil prices stoked fears over the world economic outlook, although expectations of further monetary easing helped limit losses.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended down 402.01 points, or 2.35 percent, from Monday at 16,708.90. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 32.40 points, or 2.33 percent, lower at 1,360.23.
Every industry category on the main section lost ground led by marine transportation, mining, and pulp and paper.
stocks remained in negative territory throughout the day after gaining ground on Monday and Friday.
"The fresh downturn in oil prices has shaken investor confidence and led
stocks lower," said Maki Sawada
of Nomura Securities Co.'s
investment research department.
After recovering from last week's 12-year lows, crude oil futures headed south again in
on Monday, ending the day at $30.34
Sluggish Chinese stocks also weighed on
equities, fueling fears about the strength of the world's second-largest economy.
But losses in
stocks were limited with investors awaiting this week's central bank meetings in
the United States
for any response to the recent market rout following a slowdown in
as well as the oil price drop.
"If the Bank of Japan stands pat,
stocks could further drop, as expectations are growing for the bank to increase its monetary stimulus," Takuya Takahashi
, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities Co.
, said. The BOJ
will hold a two-day policy meeting through Friday.
Takahashi also said
equities could be bought back if the
, which will start a two-day session later in the day, suggests it will slow the pace of tightening policy after raising interest rates late last year.
On the First Section, declining issues trounced advancing issues 1,759 to 148, while 28 ended the day unchanged.
Plunging oil prices took mining and resource-related issues with them. Inpex fell 44 yen, or 4.3 percent, to 978 yen while Mitsubishi Heavy Industries lost 15.20 yen, or 3.3 percent, to 443.70 yen.
Takara Leben fell 35 yen, or 6.0 percent, to 550 yen after the condominium developer cut Monday its profit forecasts for the business year through March.
JSR, fell 33 yen, or 1.9 percent, to 1,680 yen after the rubber product maker logged Monday a 14 percent year-on-year fall in net profit for the nine months through December.
Bucking the selling trend, Sumitomo Osaka Cement gained 21 yen, or 4.7 percent, to 466 yen after the Nikkei business daily reported the company is likely to have recorded the biggest operating profit for the April-December period, helped by falling coal prices.
Trading volume on the main section fell to 2,157.29 million shares from Monday's 2,291.70 million shares.
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