Nikkei plunges on stronger yen

<p>The rise of the Japanese currency has hit exporters’ shares.</p>

Stocks fell sharply on the Tokyo Stock Exchange today (March 26th) as the yen strengthened against the dollar after a weak overnight session on Wall Street.

The 225-issue Nikkei average dropped 1.39 per cent to close at 19,471.12, while the Topix index of all First Section issues tumbled 1.46 per cent to finish at 1,568.82.

US shares plunged overnight on the back of weaker-than-expected US economic data, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average down 1.62 per cent. The fresh figures showed spending on US durable goods fell for a sixth straight month in February.

The yen’s strengthening weighed down exporters shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Automakers Toyota and Honda, electronic device maker TDK and electronic parts maker Murata Manufacturing plunged.

Amongst the biggest losses were semi-conductor shares, with Sumco falling 5.7 per cent and Tokyo Electron 5.2 per cent.

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