Nikkei sinks 4 pct as bank shares dive on global growth fears
* If Nikkei falls further, lowest level since Oct 2014 in sight
* Strong yen triggers worries about Japan Inc's earnings
* Defensive firms with high dividend yields may outperform-trader
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average tumbled to a 2-1/2-week low on Tuesday morning, with banks taking the brunt of the sell-off, while a stronger yen dragged down stocks across the board.
The Nikkei dropped 4.6 percent to 16,226.29 in mid-morning trade, after sliding as low as 16,220.53, its lowest since Jan. 21. If it falls below 16,017.26, it will be the lowest since October 2014.
All of Topix's 33 subsectors were in negative territory. The broader Topix stumbled 4.3 percent to 1,320.65.
In overnight trade, European banks led a global sell-off in financial stocks as signs of stress in the sector mounted, triggering sharp selling in the beaten-down Japanese banking sector.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group sank 7.2 percent, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group dropped 6.6 percent and Mizuho Financial Group shed 5.3 percent. Japanese banks have been under pressure with the Bank of Japan's negative interest rate policy introduced last month. Continuación...