* Shares further undermined by report of N. Korean missile
* U.S. stocks wilt on fears of delays to tax reform, fiscal
* Safe-haven yen surges to strongest levels since November
TOKYO, March 22 Japan's Nikkei share average
skidded on Wednesday, taking its cue from a sell-off on Wall
Street and a rise in the perceived safe-haven yen.
Japanese shares extended losses after Kyodo News, citing a
Japan government source, reported that North Korea may have
launched several missiles on Wednesday morning.
The Nikkei was down 2 percent at 19,065.37 at the
end of morning trade, plumbing its lowest intraday levels since
"Tokyo market shows weakness overall, owing largely to
recent U.S. stock price declines and relative yen strength,"
said Hiroki Allen, chief representative of Superfund Japan in
The U.S. dollar wallowed below the 112-yen level in
troughs not seen since November, after Wall Street tumbled on
Tuesday as investors' fears grew that President Donald Trump
might have trouble delivering his promised tax cuts that helped
propel U.S. shares to record highs in recent months.
"People are now questioning the rollout for the Trump growth
package, and part of that is because we're assuming there's
going to be a delay in the tax reform measures," said Gavin
Parry, managing director of Parry International Trading in Hong
"The next catalyst people were looking for, for cash
equities, was the reform measures to come out on the fiscal
side," he said. "Now that's all been put on the back burner, and
internationally, it's making people re-weight their
Markets largely shrugged off Japanese economic data earlier
in the session showing exports in February grew 11.3 percent
from a year earlier, led by shipments of car parts and
electronics parts to Asia, taking the seasonally-adjusted trade
surplus to its highest since April 2010.
Banking and securities shares took a significant hit on the
market downturn, with the Tokyo Stock Exchange's bank subindex
shedding 3.1 percent and the securities subindex
dropping 3.4 percent.
Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) shares fell 0.5
percent. The utility will announce the main points of a revised
business restructuring plan on Wednesday, Japanese media
reported, as it looks to speed reforms and boost earnings to
meet the costs of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The broader Topix slipped 1.9 percent to 1,533.90,
while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was down 2 percent at
(Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)