TOKYO, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks fell for a sixth consecutive day on Tuesday in a volatile session that saw indexes seesaw between losses and gains before retreating late in the session on worries about China’s slowing economy.
The Nikkei share average ended down 4 percent at 17,806.70 points, its lowest close since Feb. 10.
The benchmark index opened down 2 percent, clawed its way back into the black by lunch and then fell sharply again in afternoon as Shanghai’s stock market selloff intensified and European investors woke up to sell Japanese shares with exposure to China.
The moves covered a trading range of more than 1,000 points, the widest daily range in more than two years.
The broader Topix lost 3.3 percent to close at 1,432.65, with turnover hitting 4.924 trillion yen, about double the average and the highest level since Nov. 4.
Volatility reached its highest levels in more than two years, with the Nikkei volatility index hitting 46.92 at the market’s close.
Market players pointed to continuing fears of a global market rout set-off by China’s economic woes, as well as a resurgent yen that gained on the dollar overnight following Monday’s major losses on Wall Street.
“The yen strengthened simply because of panic, but there is plenty of data that tells us the world is not ending,” said Nicholas Smith, a strategist at CLSA.
“Once the markets recover their composure, the yen will drop back into broadly the same kind of 120-125 range that it’s been sitting in for so long.”
Friday’s China manufacturing survey and weaker-than-expected PMI figures from the U.S. helped trigger heavy selling, market participants said.
Steelmakers suffered heavy losses as the Topix steel subindex shed 4.6 percent. Commodity stocks and trading houses linked to them also suffered sharp declines with JFE Holdings losing 5.1 percent. (Additional reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Kim Coghill)