RTTNews - The Japanese market plunged sharply on Wednesday with a weak close on Wall Street and a stronger yen triggering some heavy selling across the board. With traders ignoring fairly positive economic reports and pressing sales on fresh concerns about the state of the financial sector, U.S. stocks had tumbled on Tuesday, casting a shadow across the Asian region this morning.

The Japanese benchmark index Nikkei, which tanked to 10,215 due to widespread selling, is currently down by 271 points, or 2.57%, at 10,259. The index had ended with a modest gain on Tuesday.

Bank stocks have declined, tracking the fall of financial stocks on Wall Street overnight amid credit concerns. Among key stocks in the banking space, Sumitomo Trust and Banking, Sumitomo Mitsui, Shizuoka Bank, Bank of Yokohama and Chiba Bank are trading lower by over 3%. Shinsei Bank is down by about 4%.

Automobile stocks Honda Motor, Toyota Motor, Suzuki Motor, Mazda Motor and Nissan Motor are down with notable losses.

Steel, non-ferrous metals, machinery and pharmaceuticals stocks are mostly down in the red. Shares of insurance and trading companies are also drifting down sharply today.

Seven & I Holdings Co. is falling sharply following the company lowering its group net profit outlook for the year through February to an 18% increase on the year to 109 billion yen, from the previously forecast 33% jump to 123 billion yen.

Shares of Japan Wind Development Co. opened higher but declined after a while on selling pressure. Investors snapped up the stock in early trading on reports that Idemitsu Kosan Co., Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. and Japan Wind Development will jointly build Japan's first wave power plant on the Pacific coast.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the upper 92-yen zone early Wednesday in Tokyo, down from its levels overnight in New York. In early trading, the dollar fetched 92.71-72 yen, down from Tuesday's close of 92.86-96 yen in New York and 93.25-28 yen in Tokyo. The yen is currently trading at 92.78 to the U.S. dollar.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia and Korea are down sharply in the red. Singapore and New Zealand are also trading with notable losses. Taiwan is down with a modest loss while Shanghai is up in positive territory.

On Wall Street, stocks saw substantial weakness on Tuesday, as traders shrugged off some positive economic reports and chose to exit counters on fresh concerns about the health of the U.S. financial sector.

The Dow ended with a big loss of 185.68 points, or 2%, at 9,310.60, the Nasdaq declined by 40.17 points, or 2%, to 1,968.89 and the S&P500 closed down by 22.58 points, or 2.2%, at 998.04.

Major European markets closed notably lower, with the French CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 sliding by 1.9% and 1.8%, respectively while the German DAX index fell by 2.5%.

Crude oil plunged toward US$68 per barrel as global stocks continued to decline, increasing worries over energy demand. Traders appeared to be looking for major jobs reports and the weekly petroleum inventory data. Light sweet crude for October delivery dropped to US$68.05, down US$1.91 on the session.

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