March 19, 2018 / 2:41 AM / in a year

Nikkei drops to more than 1-week low as political issue saps risk stance

TOKYO, March 19 (Reuters) - Japan’s Nikkei share average dropped to more than a one-week low on Monday morning as investors repsonded to opinion polls showing falling support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe amid a cronyism scandal that has gripped the country.

The Nikkei fell 1.2 percent to 21,424.13 in midmorning trade, dropping below its 25-day moving average of 21,671.87. Earlier it fell as low as 21,366.88, its lowest since March 9.

The broader Topix shed 0.9 percent to 1,721.82, with 30 of its 33 subsectors in negative territory.

One opinion poll published on Sunday showed Abe’s support falling to its lowest since he took office in 2012, while all the polls showed that most Japanese think Abe bears some responsibility for altered documents at the centre of suspicions that his government had tried to cover-up possible cronyism involved in a land deal.

Exporters underperformed, with TDK Corp falling 2.3 percent, Taiyo Yuden shedding 2.2 percent and Panasonic declining 1.9 percent.

Food companies were also sold, with condiment maker Kikkoman Corp dropping 1.7 percent and NH Foods sliding 1.9 percent.

Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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