Japanese stocks dropped for a fifth day, extending the Nikkei 225 Stock Average’s worst start to a year since at least 1970, as turmoil in Chinese markets continued to reverberate around the world.
The Nikkei 225 dropped 0.9 percent to 17,599.55 as of 9:02 a.m. in Tokyo after falling 6.7 percent in the first four days of the year. Fast Retailing Co., the gauge’s biggest stock, was untraded and set to fall after the retailer cut its earnings forecasts. The Topix index lost 1 percent to 1,443.98, heading for its worst week since September. The yen traded at 117.52 per dollar, near the strongest level since August. U.S. stocks capped their worst four-day outset to a year in data going back to 1928.
Investors awaited the start of Chinese markets, where authorities late on Thursday announced the suspension of circuit breakers that have been triggered twice this week, including Thursday when trading was halted a half hour after markets opened. The measures, introduced Monday, have been blamed for exacerbating volatility that has rippled throughout global markets.