Nikkei Posts Biggest Daily Decline Since November

Markets Reuters

(Reuters)

Japan's Nikkei share average posted the biggest daily decline since November on Tuesday as uncertainty over U.S. President Donald Trump's policies weighed on investor sentiment.

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The Nikkei fell 1.7 percent to 19,041.34 points, posting the biggest daily percentage drop since Nov. 9, after Trump was elected as U.S. president.

Global stocks had their biggest loss in six weeks after Trump signed an executive order on Friday to ban travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries, including legal residents and visa holders, and temporarily halted the entry of refugees.

Over the weekend, thousands of people rallied in major U.S. cities and at airports in protest.

Traders said that investors unloaded risky assets by selling both cash stocks and futures, while they were disappointed by weak earnings from some companies.

The broader Topix declined 1.4 percent at 1,521.67, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 1.5 percent to 13,642.35.

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NEC Corp shares tumbled 17 percent after the company slashed its profit outlook for the year ending March 31 as delays to projects squeezed revenue.

As widely expected, the Bank of Japan kept its policy settings unchanged at its first meeting of the year, maintaining a pledge to guide short-term interest rates at minus 0.1 percent and the 10-year government bond yield to around zero percent.

Markets are focusing on what BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has to say at a 0630 GMT news conference about the risks from Trump's protectionist trade stance, particularly with Trump taking direct aim at Japan's powerful auto industry - a mainstay of its economy.

(Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Eric Meijer)