Japanese stocks track Wall Street losses as recession fears persist

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By Sam Byford

TOKYO, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Japanese stocks followed Wall Street lower on Friday and were set for a weekly decline, as investors continued to worry about a global economic slowdown amid rising interest rates.

The Nikkei share average was down 1.08% at the mid-day break after plumbing its lowest level since Sept. 7 earlier in the session. The index has lost 2.33% on the week so far and is floating above the 27,500 mark.

The broader Topix index fell 0.65%.

U.S. futures fell on Thursday after FedEx withdrew its financial forecast, warning of a deterioration in the global economy. Earlier in the day, all three major Wall Street indexes declined as a raft of economic data suggested the Federal Reserve would stay aggressive.

A study by the World Bank saying that a “moderate hit to the global economy over the next year could tip it into recession” also weighed on market sentiment.

“Nasdaq futures fell in trading outside of U.S. market hours, and if this trend continues, the chance of the Nikkei falling below its recent lows will increase,” said a domestic securities broker.

Of the Nikkei’s 225 constituents, 165 declined, 57 advanced, and three traded flat.

Technology stocks were weak, with the sector down 1.1%. Chip-making equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron, a major contributor to the Nikkei, dropped 3.55% and weighed the most on the index.

Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing Co Ltd was the next biggest drag, losing 1.39%.

The financial sector made the biggest gains, rising 0.67% overall. Fukuoka Financial Group Inc, Resona Holdings Inc, and Shizuoka Bank Ltd were three of the best performers on the index.

Office equipment provider Ricoh Co Ltd gained 1.16% after announcing the acquisition of Cenero LLC, a privately held audiovisual IT solutions company, in a bid to expand its hybrid work services. (Reporting by Sam Byford and Tokyo markets team; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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