Tokyo stocks tumble to 26-year low

Standing left to right – Mr. Dinesh Jebamani (Chief Manager Liability Product Management and New Age Media – Seylan Bank), Mr.Sudesh Peiris (Senior Manager – Digital Banking Channels – Seylan Bank), Ms. S.Senevirathne (Representative of the Revenue Department – Western Province), Mr. Tilan Wijeyesekera (Deputy General Manager – Retail Banking – Seylan Bank) and Mr. Malik Wickremanayaka (Deputy General Manager – Operations – Seylan Bank)

TOKYO, October 27, 2008 (AFP) – Japan’s Nikkei stock index on Monday fell to a level last seen in 1982 before the economic bubble era, tracking heavy losses on overseas markets as fears grew of a global recession.

The Nikkei dropped 155.69 points, or 2.04 percent, to 7,493.19 in early trade, the lowest point since November 1982. The benchmark had slumped 9.60 percent on Friday.

The drop followed further heavy losses on overseas markets as investors worried about the fallout from the worst global financial crisis in decades.

The Nikkei has fallen 50 percent this year and is 80 percent off its all-time high of 38,915.87 reached in December 1989 before Japan’s asset bubble burst, ushering in a decade of stagnant growth, recessions and deflation.

During the bubble era in the second half of the 1980s Japan had surging economic growth and skyrocketing land and stock prices.

Now the Nikkei is being hit by concerns about the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression in the 1930s and by a soaring yen, which is at a 13-year high against the dollar and a six-year peak versus the euro.

US and European markets suffered heavy losses on Friday. Wall Street’s Dow Jones index ended down