Nikkei hit by Portuguese bank concerns

<p>The Nikkei share average has dropped due to worries over Banco Espirito Santo’s financial health.</p>

Japan's Nikkei share average dropped for the fifth day in a row today (July 11th) as investors worried about the financial health of Portugal's top listed lender.

Shares in Banco Espirito Santo were suspended after falling 17 per cent following issues with accounting irregularities at its parent group unveiled by a central bank audit.

"This Espirito Santo case has been simmering for some time, but is clearly now bursting out into the open and is obviously a troubling development for a country that has just exited its bailout programme," said Nicholas Spiro, head of Spiro Sovereign Strategy in London, quoted by the BBC.

The Nikkei shed 0.3 per cent to 15,164.04, the lowest closing level since June 30th. 

The broader Topix dropped 0.3 per cent to 1,255.19, and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 0.3 per cent to 11,418.67.

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