Tokyo Stock Exchange
Pedestrians walk past a stock indicator board showing share prices of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (L) and the New York Dow (R) in Tokyo on December 18, 2018 Image Credit: AFP

Tokyo: Japanese stocks tumbled on Tuesday, with the index closing at a 19-month low, as worries about cooling global growth took a toll on cyclical stocks. The Nikkei share average ended the day down 1.82 per cent at 21,115.45 after touching 21,107.13, its lowest level since Dec. 11.

The index edged towards a trough of 20,971.93 reached in late October, and a drop below that level would take it to a nine-month low. The broader Topix closed 1.99 percent lower at 1,562.51, its weakest point since May 2017.

"Mid-to-long investors are changing their global asset allocations to reflect their risk-averse stance," said Shogo Maekawa, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management. "They are reducing risky assets like stocks and adding more fixed income products such as short-term U.S. bonds." On Monday, Wall Street's major indexes all slid more than 2 per cent on concerns about slowing economic growth ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting this week that will be closely watched for clues on the US monetary policy outlook in 2019.

Stocks in China and Hong Kong too fell across the board on Tuesday, tracking markets in Asia and the US, as Chinese investors gauge the impact of a slowdown in global economic growth.