March 1, 2018 / 6:30 AM / a year ago

Nikkei ends at near 2-week low; weak euro hits precision equipment cos

TOKYO, March 1 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average closed at a near two-week low on Thursday as sentiment was hit by a rout in Wall Street overnight, while the euro's weakness against the yen hit companies such as precision machinery makers.

The Nikkei ended 1.6 percent lower at 21,724.47, its lowest closing level since Feb. 16.

The broader Topix declined 1.6 percent to 1,740.20.

Investor sentiment was soured after the Dow and S&P 500 capped their worst months since January 2016, while investors were worried about the yen's strength against the euro, adding to overall risk aversion.

The euro dropped to 129.86 yen, its weakest level since early September after benign inflation data in the euro zone dented expectations that the European Central Bank will dial back its stimulus.

Precision equipment makers Omron Corp and Terumo Corp, which have a relatively big exposure in Europe, fell 2.2 percent and 2.8 percent respectively.

Other exporters were also sold down, with Toyota Motor shedding 2.1 percent and Keyence falling 2.1 percent. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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