The Japanese equity market dropped in October, with the TOPIX (w/dividends) falling 9.41% and the Nikkei 225 (w/dividends) declining 9.04% on-month. For the first half of the month, stocks moved upward as concerns over trade friction eased after the US, Mexico, and Canada reached a deal on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). However, Japanese equities subsequently fell after stocks in the US and around the world dropped sharply on concerns over a rapid increase in US long-term interest rates. The downward trend continued in the latter half of the month, as disappointing economic indicators in China spurred concerns over a slowdown in the country’s economy. Stocks were further pressured by fears that relations between the West and Saudi Arabia would grow strained, following the suspicious death of a Saudi journalist, as well as on heightened concerns that Italy may abandon the euro due to fiscal problems.
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