Japan’s Nikkei share average fell to a two-week low on Monday, as drops in the U.S. and Chinese markets plus weak commodity prices fuelled concerns about slowing global growth.
Also denting sentiment was a Federal Reserve meeting, which opens Tuesday and might take another step toward lifting U.S. interest rates.
The Nikkei share average dropped 1.0 percent to 20,350.10 points, the lowest closing since July 13.
“It started from China,” said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.
The global economy started the second half of the year on shaky ground with a private preliminary survey showing China’s factory sector contracted in July at the fastest pace in 15 months. Also, euro zone manufacturing was weaker than expected, although U.S. activity picked up.
On Monday, official data showed that profits at China’s industrial firms dropped 0.3 percent in June from a year earlier, reversing a 0.6 percent rise in May.
“China’s slowdown can cap demand for Japanese exporters as well in the future, so we need to be careful,” Fujito said.
The broader Topix fell 1.1 percent to 1,637.90 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 declined 1.0 percent to 14,783.66.