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Market Scramble: 'Panasonic shock' sparks worry about rising yen

TOKYO -- Japanese stocks got off to a somber start in the new fiscal year that began Friday, as fears spread that businesses have yet to fully grasp how the yen's appreciation trend will affect their earnings.

     The Nikkei Stock Average tumbled 594.51 points to close at 16,164.16. "I didn't expect this heavy selling," a disconcerted Takatoshi Itoshima of Commons Asset Management said, referring to shares of Panasonic. After the electronics giant issued a bleaker forecast for fiscal 2016 the previous day, its stock sank 13% at one point, becoming the second-biggest decliner on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

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