* Nikkei posts fourth straight daily loss
* Nikkei’s weekly drop biggest since mid-December
* Shippers, machinery and financials underperform
By Ayai Tomisawa
TOKYO, March 8 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei closed at a three-week low on Friday as downbeat views on European growth and poor China February export data sharply reduced risk appetites.
The Nikkei share average ended 2 percent down at 21,025.56, the lowest closing level since Feb. 15. It was the biggest one-day percentage fall since Feb. 8.
The index, which fell for a fourth day, declined 2.7 percent this week, the largest weekly drop since mid-December.
The broader Topix dropped 1.8 percent to 1,572.44. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones 2,003 to 107.
All of the Topix’s 33 subsectors were in the red, with cyclical stocks such as shippers and machinery firms the leading losers.
China’s exports tumbled the most in three years in February while imports fell for a third straight month, pointing to a further slowdown in the economy despite a spate of support measures.
In the United States overnight, main indexes fell for a fourth consecutive session after the European Central Bank said it would defer interest rate hikes and offered banks a new round of cheap loans.
Shogo Maekawa, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management in Tokyo, said investors currently “are deeply worried about global economic slowdown.”
Japanese shippers took a big hit. Mitsui OSK Lines plunged 3 percent and Nippon Yusen tumbled 3.2 percent.
Kawasaki Kisen nosedived 13 percent after saying it expects a 100 billion yen ($896.9 million) net loss for the fiscal year ending March 31.
Chip machinery maker Advantest Corp stumbled 5.7 percent and Tokyo Electron shed 3.6 percent.
Insurers and banks also lost ground after Treasury yields dropped on global growth concerns. Dai-ichi Life Holdings and T&D Holdings shed 4.8 percent and 5 percent, respectively, and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group declined 2.3 percent.
$1 = 111.50 yen Editing by Richard Borsuk