TOKYO, Oct 22 (Reuters) Japan's Nikkei average fell 3 percent on Monday, led down by exporters such as Toyota Motor Corp as the yen hit a six-week high against the faltering dollar amid U.S. economic fears that have hit Wall Street.
The Tokyo market slid from the open, taking the Nikkei and the broader TOPIX index to four-week lows with a broad range of shares sold, before the market gauges recouped some losses.
''I think the market's fall should stop at this point. It's gone a bit too far,'' said Kenichi Hirano, operating officer at Tachibana Securities.
''There are no reasons for Japanese stocks to be sold that much. Investors were oversensitive.'' The dollar fell to a six-week low of 113.40 yen amid growing fears of tough economic times in the United States, a key export market for Japanese firms.
Shares of Toyota Motor fell 2.4 percent to 6,100 yen. They had dropped 3.8 percent within minutes of the open.
By 0059 GMT, the benchmark Nikkei had tumbled 3 percent or 502.83 points to 16,311.54, after hitting a low of 16,264.70. The broader TOPIX index had fallen 2.7 percent to 1,547.80, off a low of 1,539.09 hit earlier.
The slide in Tokyo followed a 2.6 percent fall for Wall Street's Dow Jones industrial average on Friday, after a bleak outlook from construction equipment maker Caterpillar Inc -- a drop made more unnerving as Friday marked the 20th anniversary of the 1987 market crash.
Reuters RKM VP0650