Stock prices sank to 33-month lows today on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, weighed down by pessimism about the Middle East and other negative factors. The dollar edged higher against the Japanese yen.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 478.71 points, or 2.15%, to close at 21,478.71 points, its lowest finish since Jan. 4, 1988. Volume on the first section was an estimated 430 million shares.
On Wednesday, the index shed 1,108.70 points, or 4.75%, the ninth-largest single-day decline as measured by points in the index's history.
The Nikkei has lost 44.05% since the beginning of the year, the second-largest cumulative percentage loss after World War II. In 1965, the index fell 44.2%.