Japan’s shares plunge amid market turmoil

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Japanese shares have suffered a sharp fall as the Nikkei 225 marked its lowest close since October 2014.

The BBC reports the benchmark index fell by 5.4 per cent at one stage during Friday’s trading, before regaining some ground to close at 14,952.61 points.

Japan’s index has lost more than 11 per cent over the trading week, with exporters hit by the dollar falling to a 15-month low against the yen.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell by over 4 per cent on Thursday, ending up 1.2 per cent down at 18,319.58 on Friday.

Global markets have been posting steep declines against a backdrop of low oil prices and concerns about the strength of the US economy.

US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said earlier this week economic conditions in the US were “less supportive” of growth.