By Laura He, MarketWatch
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Japan stocks continued to slide on Tuesday, falling to their lowest settlement in more than six weeks, as the yen headed higher against the greenback.
The Nikkei Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.76% tumbled 2% to 16,755.32, marking its lowest closing level since the end of October. The broader Topix index /zigman2/quotes/210598092/delayed JP:180460 -0.66% declined 1.9%.
Meanwhile, the yen /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.3338% , a traditional safe-haven currency, traded substantially higher against the dollar at ¥117.30 from ¥117.82 a day earlier, as risk-aversion rose on the back of plunging crude-oil prices.
Among market movers, electronics giant NEC Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205173342/delayed JP:6701 -1.41% sank 4.6%, console maker Nintendo Co., Ltd. skidded 4%, industrial-robot manufacturer Fanuc Corporation /zigman2/quotes/202054799/delayed JP:6954 -2.68% dropped 3%, and electronics maker Fujitsu Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208459594/delayed JP:6702 -2.24% gave up 2.9%.
Other major Asian markets mostly closed lower.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -2.00% lost 1.6%, after the preliminary version of HSBC’s monthly Chinese manufacturing index showed its first contraction since May.
Elsewhere, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.69% ended down 0.7%, and South Korea’s Kospi Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.82% settled 0.9% lower.
However, on the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -4.50% headed higher by 2.3%, extending a three-session winning streak.