TOKYO, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei fell on
Wednesday to its lowest in nearly three months, as recession
fears grew after Wall Street stocks sank deeper into a bear
market and following a report that Apple dropped plans for more
The Nikkei share average declined 2.21% to 25,984.51
by the midday break, falling below the psychological 26,000
level for the first time since July 4.
The index slipped steadily after opening about half a
percent lower. Selling accelerated mid-morning, around the time
Bloomberg reported Apple would drop a plan to boost
production of its new smartphones after an anticipated demand
surge failed to materialise.
Of the benchmark's 225 constituents, 220 stocks fell, three
rose and two traded flat.
Every sector declined, including energy, which had been
sharply higher for much of the morning after crude oil rebounded
from multi-month lows overnight. Its 1.08% fall was the most
moderate, while real estate was the worst performer with a 3.15%
The broader Topix slid 1.72% to 1,840.78.
The big decline comes as Japan heads into the final days of
its fiscal first half.
"Apple's decision to postpone an increase in production
certainly is having an effect, but another big factor is that
traders are speculating about supply and demand into the end of
the first half. So, I want to see what happens following this
round of selling," said Masayuki Otani, chief market analyst at
Securities Japan Inc.
Investors globally are on edge as surging borrowing costs
stoke fears of widespread recession, with most of the world's
major central banks putting their focus squarely on tightening
policies to contain super-heated inflation.
Drugmaker Eisai would have lent some support to
Japanese stock indexes, but its shares had yet to trade amid a
glut of buy orders after the success of a trial of experimental
Alzheimer's treatment lecanemab.
The biggest drag on the Nikkei by index weighting was Uniqlo
store operator Fast Retailing, down 4.44%, followed by
startup investor SoftBank Group, off 2.76%, robotics
giant Fanuc, which was 3.71% lower, and chip-making
equipment-maker Tokyo Electron, which lost 2.24%.
The biggest percentage decliner was Nippon Sheet Glass
, with a 7.25% tumble.
(Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Additional reporting by Tokyo
markets team; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)