The Japanese stock market has continued its downslide as investors find it hard to regain confidence in the global economy. Recession fears and uncertainty over US central bank policies contributed to the renewed fall.
Tokyo stocks dropped again on Wednesday, hitting their lowest level since late 2014. The benchmark Nikkei-225 index tumbled 2.31 percent to 15,713.39 points. The broader Topix, listing all first-section shares, decreased by over 3 percent.
The fall came a day after the Nikkei posted its steepest one-session drop since June 2013, with the index plummeting by 5.4 percent in Tuesday trading.
"We'll continue to see volatility," SMBC Nikko Securities investment expert Chihiro Ohta told Bloomberg.
All eyes on Yellen
"The market is waiting to see what [US Fed Chair] Janet Yellen will say in her testimony on rate hikes, given the situation we're in," Ohta added.
Market players are set to parse Yellen's commentary for clues on when the US will raise rates again amid concerns over the creditworthiness of European banks, the slump in oil prices and the weakness of the global economy.
"People are getting worried about the global recession, worried about growth which is affecting not only oil and stocks, but other risky assets as well," BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich warned.
A stronger yen on Wednesday particularly hurt Japanese companies with major overseas operations, including Sony and mobile carrier SoftBank.
hg/cjc (AFP, Reuters)