February 5, 2018 / 6:42 AM / 6 months ago

Nikkei suffer biggest loss since U.S. election, small caps hit

TOKYO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average fell sharply on Monday as fear that U.S. inflation may be finally gathering pace pound global equities, with investors dumping small-cap shares.

The Nikkei tumbled 2.5 percent to 22,682.08, its biggest one-day drop since Nov 9, 2016, when it tanked 5.4 percent after the shock U.S. election win of Donald Trump.

It was also the lowest close in more than seven weeks and fell below its 50-day moving average for the first time since September.

The Nikkei volatility index jumped to 20.45, its highest close in three months.

The broader Topix slumped 2.2 percent to 1,823.74, giving up almost all of its gains so far this year, with small-cap shares hit the hardest with Topix Small falling 2.5 percent.

High-flying technology shares took the brunt of the global equity sell-off triggered by fears that U.S. inflation may gain momentum and force the Federal Reserve into a more aggressive tightening path.

Shin-Etsu Chemical fell 3.9 percent while Murata Manufacturing dropped 3.5 percent.

About 93 percent of shares declined while only five percent of shares advanced. The latter included Sony and Honda Motor, which announced strong earnings on Friday. (Reporting by Tokyo Markets Team Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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