Tokyo stocks close sharply down on Jerusalem worries
Tokyo's benchmark stock index closed nearly 2 % lower on Wednesday as investors stepped up selling on news that United States President will recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The key Nikkei 225 index fell 1.97 percent, or 445.34 points, to 22,177.04, suffering the biggest point loss in 2017.
The broader Topix index was down 1.43 %, or 25.55 points, at 1,765.42.
US President is set to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital later Wednesday, upending decades of careful US policy and ignoring dire warnings of a historic misstep that could trigger a surge of violence in the Middle East.
"The Jerusalem issue came just when 'Russia-gate' reminded investors of risks over the Trump administration's management," said Makoto Sengoku, market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Centre.
Investors have kept a cautious eye on the ongoing FBI probe into allegations of Russian election meddling.
The Jerusalem issue could be "an unsettling factor to the global order" and gave a convenient excuse to sell to investors who had been waiting for an opportunity to reap profits on recent gains," Sengoku told AFP.
It was "a cue for profit-taking," he added.
Sentiment also worsened as other Asian stocks dropped, he said, adding that attention was now shifting to how the US markets would fare on Wednesday.