As the global stock selloff extends in Asia, stocks in Japan have been belted in morning trade.
Traders hit the sell button as soon as markets opened at 11:00am AEST. A short time ago, the benchmark Nikkei index was already down more than 3%.
It follows a sharp selloff in US markets, as fear takes hold amid a backdrop of rising interest rates and increasing signs of a slowdown in global economic growth.
The risk-off tone overnight drove demand for the Japanese yen, which is often considered a safe-haven asset alongside US bonds and gold.
A stronger currency often exacerbates falls for Japanese stocks, given many of Japan’s biggest companies are export-intensive.
The Nikkei has now fallen by almost 12% in the month of October alone.
The recent declines across Asian markets have seen the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fall into a bear market, with declines of 20.3% since late January.
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