March 28, 2018 / 2:36 AM / a month ago

Nikkei tumbles as tech shares hit by regulatory scare

TOKYO, March 28 (Reuters) - Japanese stocks tumbled on Wednesday morning, led by a sell-off in tech firms after their U.S. counterparts skidded on concerns over government regulation, while shares going ex-dividend added to the broader losses in Tokyo.

The Nikkei share average dropped 1.7 percent to 20,951.42 in midmorning trade.

About 160 points were shaven off the Nikkei due to adjusted prices for stocks going ex-dividend, according to market participants. High-yielding stocks including automakers, banks and securities firms underperformed.

Toyota Motor dropped 3.0 percent, Nissan Motor fell 3.2 percent, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group shed 2.4 percent, SMFG declined 3.0 percent and Daiwa Securities was off 2.7 percent.

Tech shares stumbled, with semiconductor equipment makers Tokyo Electron and Advantest Corp both sliding 4.7 percent.

The selloff in the sector was triggered by steep losses in U.S. tech stocks, which have been under pressure recently as concerns about government regulation stemming from their strong growth and privacy questions surrounding Facebook.

Panasonic Corp fell 6 percent after the United States began a federal field investigation into last week’s fatal crash and vehicle fire of major battery customer Tesla Inc .

The broader Topix dropped 1.5 percent to 1,692.09. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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