* Insurers, banks fall on U.S. Treasury yield curve inversion
* Makers of factory automation equipment fall
* SoftBank Group on track for biggest drop since late Dec.
* Eisai falls to daily limit-low again
* All of Topix's 33 subsectors in the red
By Daniel Leussink
TOKYO, March 25 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei sold off sharply on Monday as investors moved into bonds and other assets perceived as safe amid renewed fears of a global economic slowdown.
The Nikkei share average .N225 was last down 3.09 percent at 20,958.79, paring some losses after dipping to its lowest since Feb. 15.
The benchmark index was on track for its steepest daily fall in percentage terms since losing 5 percent in late December.
The broader Topix .TOPX fell 2.65 percent to 1,574.25, hovering near a two-week low, with all of its 33 subsectors trading in negative territory.
On Friday, the spread between yields of U.S. three-month Treasury bills US3MT=RR exceeded those of 10-year notes US10YT=RR for the first time since 2007. inversion of the Treasury yield curve suggested the world's largest economy could slide into recession and reignited fears of a deepening slowdown in the global economy. MKTS/GLOB
Japanese insurers and banks, which seek higher yielding products such as U.S. bonds, sold off sharply on Monday, weighed down by the inversion of part of the U.S. yield curve.
"Insurers react negatively as it becomes harder for them to manage assets," said Eiji Kinouchi, chief technical analyst at Daiwa Securities.
Shares of companies that are relatively sensitive to the global economic outlook, such as factory automation equipment makers, lost ground on Monday.
Daiwa's Kinouchi said firms that are relatively sensitive to the global outlook may rebound on robust stimulus in China - just as many had done after a sell off in December.
Index heavyweight SoftBank Group 9984.T dropped 5.7 percent, putting it on track for its biggest daily loss since late December last year.
The drug sector .IPHAM.T remained in the spotlight, falling 3.9 percent.
Drug maker Eisai Co 4523.T was set to fall nearly 20 percent to a daily-limit low of 6,065 yen after the company and its partner Biogen Inc BIIB.O said last week they had scrapped trials of an experimental Alzheimer's drug. news weighed on other pharmaceutical names for a second session, with Astellas Pharmaceutical 4503.T down 3.9 percent and Takeda Pharmaceutical 4502.T giving up 2.5 percent.
Add Chart to Comment
We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:
- Enrich the conversation
- Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
- Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
- Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
- NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
- Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
- Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
- Only English comments will be allowed.
Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.