Japan shares briefly fall to lowest level since 2003, cut losses through morning session

Business Materials 7 October 2008 07:18 (UTC +04:00)

Japanese shares have fallen sharply, briefly sending the country's benchmark index to its lowest level since December 2003, the AP reported.

The Nikkei 225 was down 241.32 points, or 2.3 percent, at 10,231.77 near the close of morning trading Tuesday. The index stumbled out of the gate early and tumbled over 5 percent to 9,916.21, breaking through the 10,000-barrier for the first time in almost five years.

The dollar continued to fall against the yen, trading near 101.53 yen versus 103 yen levels a day earlier.

Carmakers were among the morning's biggest losers. Mitsubishi Motors was down 11 percent at 130 yen, while Nissan fell 7.2 percent to 542 yen and Toyota slid 6.4 percent to 3,650 yen.