Japanese stocks closed sharply lower on Thursday after weak manufacturing data out of the US and Europe raised concerns about the global economy.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 2.6% while the broader Topix plunged 2.9%.
US stocks had also ended lower after a closely-watched monthly survey showed US factory output expanded at a slower pace than expected.
A Markit survey also showed eurozone manufacturing activity hit a one-year low in September.
Chang Wei Ling from Mizuho Bank wrote in a research note that there were “fears that the eurozone economy is contracting at the same time as the US and UK are entering a soft growth patch”.
“This hurt sentiment towards US stocks, which are also weighed by an Ebola scare given news of the first confirmed Ebola case in the US, as well as the start of earnings season.”
Japan’s biggest exporters suffered the worst falls after the Japanese yen strengthened in value against the US dollar, eating into their profitability.
The Japanese government has been trying to weaken the yen to make them more competitive overseas.
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