SYDNEY, March 9 (Reuters) - Japan's share benchmark Nikkei tumbled to 14-month lows on Monday, on rising fear that the widening reach of the coronovirus epidemic could severely disrupt the global economy.
The Nikkei average .N225 shed 6.2% to 19,473.07 by the midday break, its lowest since Jan. 4, 2019. If sustained by the end of the day, it will be the biggest one-day fall since June 24, 2016.
The number of people infected with coronavirus topped 107,000 across the world as the outbreak reached more countries and caused more economic damage. broader Topix .TOPX slid 6.1% to 1,382.11, touching its lowest since Nov. 11, 2016.
Oil refiners and trading houses were pummelled by big falls in oil prices as Saudi Arabia plans to raise its crude oil production significantly following the collapse of OPEC's supply cut agreement with Russia. oil refiners JXTG Holdings Inc 5020.T and Idemitsu Kosan Co Ltd 5019.T sank 7.9% and 8.1%, respectively, while Mitsubishi Corp 8058.T and Mitsui & Co 8031.T dropped 5.5% and 7.1%, in that order.
The safe-haven yen JPY= jumped more than 3% to a day high of 101.55 per dollar, its strongest since Nov. 9, 2016.
It created a headwind for exporters, including semi-conductor related shares that had been helped by hopes of demand related to new technologies such as 5G, with Yaskawa Electric 6506.T and Murata Manufacturing 6981.T diving 9.5% and 7.9%, respectively.
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