Japanese stocks fell, extending a global rout, after the scale of the European Central Bank’s additional easing disappointed investors and the yen strengthened.
The Topix index dropped 1.7 percent to 1,575.22 at the trading break in Tokyo, heading for its biggest drop in a month and toward a 1.2 percent weekly decline. All of its 33 industry groups dropped, led by shippers. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average retreated 1.9 percent to 19,556.50. The yen jumped 0.5 percent against the dollar on Thursday as investors sought haven assets after the ECB boosted stimulus by less than expected.
Anticipation for easing had grown in recent weeks as ECB President Mario Draghi and his closest colleagues communicated growing concern about the low pace of euro-area inflation and the risks to the economic recovery.
Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd. slumped 4.4 percent to lead a decline by marine transport stocks after Nomura Holdings Inc. cut its rating on several shippers. Fujitsu Ltd. gained 2.7 percent after the Nikkei newspaper reported the electronics maker is considering merging its personal computer operations with Toshiba Corp. and Vaio, formerly Sony Corp.’s PC unit.