Nikkei falls sharply as Italy election spooks investors

TOKYO Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:10pm EST

A man walks past a stock index board showing various countries' stock price index outside a brokerage in Tokyo February 25, 2013. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

A man walks past a stock index board showing various countries' stock price index outside a brokerage in Tokyo February 25, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Yuya Shino

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average fell sharply at the open on Tuesday, retreating from a 53-month high as the yen strengthened on uncertainty following the Italian elections, with shares of some big exporters to Europe tumbling.

The Nikkei .N225 dropped 2.4 percent to 11,379.92, and the broader Topix .TOPX shed 1.9 percent to 962.53.

On Monday, the Nikkei had risen 2.4 percent to 11,662.52, its highest level since late September 2008.

(Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by John Mair)

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