TOKYO, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks closed sharply lower Monday, with the benchmark Nikkei stock index briefly dropping more than 500 points amid heightening trade concerns, with the yen's rise against the U.S. dollar as investors fled to the safe haven currency hurting exporter issues and the broader market.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average tumbled 449.87 points, or 2.17 percent, from Friday to close the day at 20,261.04.
The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, dropped 24.22 points, or 1.61 percent, to finish at 1,478.03.
Investors were in risk-off mood from the get go, brokers here said, fleeing from riskier assets like stocks and into safe havens like bonds and the Japanese yen.
They said issues were offloaded as concerns grew about global trade issues and recent escalations, which have clouded the outlook for the global economy.
The move away from stocks and into the yen saw it surge versus the U.S. dollar, which dents Japan's key export sector and other issues broadly exposed to overseas markets and tends to drag down the broader market.
The U.S. dollar briefly fell to around 104.45 yen in early deals, marking its lowest level in around three years, before recovering to the 105 yen level during trading hours.
In light of ongoing trade issues, market analysts here said that the yen-dollar pairing would remain volatile and based on non-economic fundamentals.
Hideki Shibata, senior interest rate and forex strategist at the Tokai Tokyo Research Institute, said that the yen would likely to continue to advance unless some positive elements are seen regarding trade issues.
By the close of play, all industry categories retreated into negative territory, with marine transportation, metal product and iron and steel-linked issues comprising those that declined the most.
Issues that declined outpaced those that rose by 1,979 to 138 on the First Section, while 33 ended the day unchanged and on the main section on Monday 1,140.28 million shares changed hands, rising from Friday's volume of 907.1 million shares.
The turnover on the first trading day of the week came to 1,984.4 billion yen (18.73 billion U.S. dollars).