Nikkei index plunges over 2% in morning on U.S. slowdown fears

© Kyodo News

Tokyo stocks plunged Thursday morning, with the Nikkei index falling over 2 percent, on fears that elevated commodity prices may squeeze corporate profits and lead the U.S. economy to slow down, while a sell-off in exporter issues on the yen's strength added to the downward pressure.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average fell 672.80 points, or 2.50 percent, from Wednesday to 26,238.40. The broader Topix index was down 38.30 points, or 2.03 percent, at 1,846.39.

Every industry category on the top-tier Prime Market lost ground, led by marine transportation, transportation equipment and electric appliance issues.