Japan’s Nikkei share average fell to more than two-week lows on Thursday as automakers slumped after US launched a national security investigation into car and truck imports.
The Nikkei dropped 1.2 per cent to 22,425.19 points by midmorning, after falling to 22,389.94, the lowest level since May 9, reports Reuters.
The transportation equipment sector stumbled 2.6 per cent and was the worst performer on the board after news of the US probe.
Toyota Motor Corp fell 2.7 per cent, Subaru Corp dropped 2.9 per cent and Mazda Motor Corp dived 4.3 per cent.
Nissan Motor Co and Honda Motor Co shed 1.8 per cent and 2.8 per cent, respectively.
“Sentiment in the auto sector is bad with the tariff concerns, and a strong yen is pouring salt on the wound,” said Takashi Ito, equity market strategist at Nomura Securities.
The dollar shed 0.3 per cent to 109.73 yen in early Asian trade, a day after it had fallen 0.73 per cent, its biggest fall in nearly three months.
GS Yuasa, which makes automotive lithium-ion batteries with Honda, stumbled 3.3 per cent.
Elsewhere, discount clothing chain Shimamura dived 5.6 per cent after its May same-store sales dropped 7.7 per cent on the year due to cold weather.
The broader Topix dropped 1.1 per cent to 1,778.20.
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