The FINANCIAL -- The Japanese stock market is down sharply on September 29, with the weak cues overnight from Wall Street and European markets denting investor sentiment. In addition, a stronger yen dragged down export-oriented stocks, according to Nasdaq.
In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is losing 531.34 points or 3.01 percent to 17,113.77, off a low of 17,074.79 earlier. Iron and steel, shipping and pharmaceutical stocks are among the leading decliners.
Among the major exporters, Sony (SNE) is losing almost 7 percent, Panasonic is down more than 4 percent, Canon is declining more than 2 percent and Toshiba is lower by 4 percent. Sharp Corp. is down more than 3 percent.
Automakers are also lower. Toyota (TM) is declining almost 4 percent and Honda is losing more than 4 percent.
Market heavyweight Fast Retailing is down more than 1 percent and SoftBank is lower by almost 5 percent.
In the banking space, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (MTU) and Mizuho Financial Group are declining more than 4 percent each and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is down almost 4 percent.
The Nikkei business daily reported that Daiichi Chuo Kishen Kaisha is expected to file for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, hurt by tumbling freight rates amid weakening shipping demand. Shares of the company are in a trading halt.
Among the other major losers, Kobe Steel is down more than 12 percent, Mitsui & Co. is losing more than 7 percent and Sumitomo Corp. is lower by almost 5 percent.
On the economic front, Japan will release September figures for small business confidence later in the day.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar traded in the upper 119-yen range on September 29, down from Monday's close in the upper 120-yen range in Tokyo.
On Wall Street, stocks closed sharply lower on September 28, as weak economic cues out of China once again raised concerns about the health of the global economy.
The S&P 500 fell 49.56 points, or 2.6 percent to settle at 1,881.78, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 312.78 points, or 1.9 percent at 16,001.89 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 142.52 points, or 3 percent to finish at 4,543.97.
European markets also ended solidly in negative territory on September 28 as concerns over China returned to the forefront, after some disappointing economic data, prompting further weakness in commodity prices.
The DAX of Germany dropped by 2.12 percent, the CAC 40 of France fell 2.76 percent and the FTSE of the U.K. declined by 2.46 percent.
U.S. crude oil futures snapped a three-day gain to end sharply lower on September 28, on demand growth concerns with economic reports worldwide suggesting a slowdown globally, even as stock markets in U.S. and Europe trended firmly lower.
Crude oil futures for November delivery, the most actively traded contract, plummeted $1.27 or 2.8 percent to settle at $44.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange September 28.