LOS ANGELES – Japanese stocks slid out of the gate early Friday, marking a sharp loss for the benchmark index after China-growth worries prompted a selloff on Wall Street. The Nikkei Stock Average [ s: jp:nik] slumped 1.7% to 15,424.60, and the broader Topix declined 1.5%. A more than 1% tumble in the U.S. dollar against the yen below the 104 level pressured shares of exporters, with Hitachi Ltd. falling 3%, Toshiba Corp. shedding 1.6% and Sony Corp. losing 1.3%. A stronger yen tends to make Japanese products sent abroad more expensive. A forecast for stronger vehicle sales this year couldn't shield shares of Toyota Motor Corp. from the broader selloff, as they lost 1.2%. But shares of Apple Inc. supplier Murata Manufacturing Co. gained 1.1% after Apple shares advanced on the back of billionaire investor Carl Icahn’s campaign to convince Apple to raise its share buyback program by another $50 billion.
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