Nikkei futures trade briefly halted; cash Nikkei dives 6 pct

TOKYO Thu May 23, 2013 1:48am EDT

TOKYO May 23 (Reuters) - The Osaka Securities Exchange on Thursday briefly suspended trade in Nikkei futures due to a steep drop as investors took profits following a recent sharp rally, after weak Chinese factory activity rattled investors.

The Nikkei share average slid as much as 6 percent to 14,682.05. The benchmark was last down 5.6 percent at 14,757.12, on track for it biggest one-day percentage drop in two years.

The broader Topix index was down 5.8 percent at 1,202.30, with volume already at record high with another 17 minutes before the closing bell.

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