Tokyo stocks took another dive Thursday, driving the benchmark Nikkei index below the 15,000 threshold for the first time in about six months amid growing jitters over prospects for the U.S. economy.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 462.98 points, or 3.07 percent, to end the day at 14,633.03, after briefly turning in nearly 600 points of loss. The key gauge ended below 15,000 for the first time since Nov. 30.
The Tokyo Stock Price Index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange slid 51.32 points, or 3.35 percent, to 1,482. 22, finishing below the 1,500 threshold for the first time since Nov. 16.
Tokyo shares fell almost across the board, with declining issues leading advancing ones 1,648 to 40, with nine shares ending the day unchanged.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group was the most heavily traded issue by value. It ended flat at 1,510,000 yen.
Sumitomo Metal Industries was the day's volume leader, down 33 yen, or 6.9 percent, to 445 yen, followed by Nippon Steel, which dropped 19 yen, or 4.74 percent, to 382 yen.
Trading volume on the TSE's main section came to 2,652.45 million shares against Wednesday's 1,925.63 million shares.
The TSE's Second Section index lost 161.04 points, or 3.80 percent, to 4,076.75 on a volume of 77.07 million shares. In Osaka, the near-term June Nikkei 225 index futures contract plunged 530 points to 14,570.