Japanese stocks plunged after the yen strengthened as investors sought haven assets amid a Federal Reserve warning that China’s equity rout and the Greek debt crisis could damp economic growth.

The Topix index lost 1.8 percent to 1,554.19 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo, with all of its 33 industry groups declining. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 1.6 percent to 19,416.19. The yen advanced against all 16 of its major peers Wednesday, surging more than 2 percent versus currencies from the pound to the Brazilian real amid demand for the safest assets. It traded at 120.86 per dollar, maintaining a 1.5 percent gain.

E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.3 percent after the underlying measure tumbled 1.7 percent to a four-month low in disrupted trading in New York on Wednesday.

Trading was suspended on the New York Stock Exchange as a computer malfunction shut the venue for 3 1/2 hours. Stocks continued to change hands on other U.S. venues.

Fed officials expressed concern over risks posed by China and Greece, according to the record of their last meeting. Almost all policy makers said they still need more evidence growth is strong as they mull the timeline for raising interest rates. Investors sought out haven plays amid speculation the selloff that has wiped out more than $3 trillion in Chinese equity value and paralyzed the market could spread to the economy. Greece extended its bank shutdown through Monday.

Source : Bloomberg