Stocks sink deeper on concerns over Trump trade policy

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Stocks remained mired in a slump on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Monday amid persistent concerns over U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade policy, with the benchmark Nikkei average briefly sinking below 21,000.

The 225-issue average shed 139.55 points, or 0.66 percent, to close at 21,042.09, the worst finish since Oct. 12 last year. On Friday, the key market gauge tumbled 542.83 points.

The TOPIX index on all First Section issues was down 13.55 points, or 0.79 percent, at 1,694.79, the lowest level since Oct. 6, 2017. It fell 31.86 points the previous trading day.

The Nikkei and TOPIX both extended their losing streaks to a fourth market day.

The Tokyo market opened lower, with investor sentiment battered by the yen’s continued strength against the dollar, brokers said.

Trump’s plan to impose import tariffs on steel and aluminum products, likely to be officially decided this week, kept preventing investors from buying stocks, they added.

In the afternoon, the Nikkei slipped through the 21,000 threshold for the first time since Feb. 14 on an intraday basis.

After the Nikkei broke the psychologically important line, however, stocks showed some resilience thanks to buying on dips, pushing the key index back above the line, according to Yoshihiko Tabei, chief analyst at Naito Securities Co.Speech

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