11:00 a.m. in tokyo. this is "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi. the dollar plunged against the yen on wednesday, hitting a 15-year low. stock prices in new york also fell, with the benchmark index shedding over 260 points. on foreign exchange markets dealers accelerated moves to sell dollars and buy yen, which is considered a relatively safe haven. the greenback's fall comes amid renewed concerns over a u.s. economic slowdown after the
federal reserve downgraded its economic assessment and announced it was easing money policy on tuesday. in london the dollar temporarily fell to 84.72 yen, the lowest since july 1995. later in new york the dollar was traded in the lower range of 85 yen. on the new york stock exchange shares were sold heavily in a bid to ward off risks from the uncertain economic outlook. the dow jones industrial average was down 265 points, or roughly 2.5% from tuesday, closing at 10,378. market sources say risk-averting behavior is spreading across the global financial markets as fears grow that the chinese and u.s. economies may slow down. in the tokyo foreign exchange market today the dollar dipped temporarily below the 85-yen mark after regaining ground due to profit taking. now the dollar is changing hands at -- let's take a look at those figures.
85.07-09. market sources say although some investors are selling theoyen to lock in profits the dollar will likely remain weak against the yen due to lingering concerns over the u.s. economy. over to the tokyo stock exchange the nikkei 225 is trading at its lowest level this year due to growing concerns that the stronger yen may hurt the performance of japanese exporters. the nikkei ended the morning session at 9,105.2. that's down 187, about 2% from wednesday's close. the u.s. trade deficit grew sharply in june, with its highest monthly increase since october 2008. the u.s. commerce department said the deficit increased to 18.8% between may and june to a monthly total of almost $50 billion. the department says u.s. exports fell due to europe's fiscal crisis while imports of vehicles and auto parts rose. it added that the trade deficit
for the first six months of the year totaled nearly $250 billion, a jump of 44.8% from a year ago. the nation's trade deficit has now risen for three straight months. despite president barack obama's pledge to expand exports. tropical storm dianmu is moving eastward in the sea of western japan, bringing heavy rain to the northeast of the country. sumi zushi joins us now to give us the details. sumi. >> all right. well, let's start off with a satellite shot here. you can see tropical storm system making its way across the sea of japan. it's actually made its way across the southeastern tip of the korean peninsula yesterday, bringing torrential rains, damaging winds as well. over 100 millimeters recorded in many areas here. japan's also been getting a lot of rain across the country in the last 24 hours. as of right now, it's really impacting central portions of the country with strong winds. it will make its way into the north of the country later
tonight, making landfall here, and we are expecting to see lots of rains develop here, especially toward the north, up to 200 millimeters could accumulate. but really anywhere across the country looking at heavy rains that develop, maybe over 100 millimeters possible as well. so flooding and landslides are going to be a main concern here. but we'll have more on the weather later on. u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton has urged senators to ratify a new arms reduction treaty with russia. >> our national security is at risk. there is an urgency to ratify this treaty because we currently lack verification measures with russia, which only hurts our national security interests. >> clinton said in washington on wednesday that u.s. on-site
inspections of russia's nuclear arsenal have been suspended since the lapse of the earlier strategic arms reduction treaty agreement. president barack obama and president dmitry medvedev signed the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty in april. it would cut the number of strategic nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles on both sides. the new treaty would allow the two countries to inspect each other's nuclear arsenals and verify compliance. the u.s. senate is scheduled to vote for ratification in mid september. opposition republicans oppose the treaty, saying it will hinder the u.s. development of ballistic missile defense. it remains uncertain whether the u.s. can secure the 2/3 majority of votes needed to clear the treaty for ratification. russia says it has deployed high-performance air defense missiles in georgia's breakaway abkhazia region. the commander of russia's air force, general alexander zelin, on wednesday revealed the deployment of s-300
surface-to-air missile systems in the region. just two years ago russia's military routed georgian forces in a five-day war over abkhazia and south osettia, another breakaway region. russian troops continue to be stationed in the two areas. the georgian government rejects the independence of abkhazia and south ossetia. russia says the missiles have been deployed to defend the regions from georgia's military. georgia says the deployment shows that russia is strengthening its military control over their territories. on sunday russian president dmitry medvedev visited abkhazia and pledged to help it improve infrastructure in an apparent show of support for its independence. thursday marks the 25th anniversary of japan's deadliest air disaster, which killed over 500 people. relatives of the victims are commemorating the tragedy by climbing a mountain to visit the crash site.
the japan airlines boeing 747 went down in the osutaka ridge in gunma prefecture north of tokyo on august 12th, 1985, killing 520 people on board. on early thursday morning bereaved family members and officials of the airline began scaling the mountain to mourn the victims. they'll place flowers on a mountain cenotaph for the victims. >> the mourning ceremony is to be held later in the evening. the relatives will offer a silent prayer for the dead at 6:56 p.m., the time the
we're closely following the markets today. in the tokyo foreign exchange market the dollar dipped temporarily below the 85-yen mark after regaining ground due to profit taking. now, the dollar is changing hands at 85.09-10. market sources say although some investors are selling the yen to lock in profits the dollar will likely remain weak against the yen due to lingering concerns over the u.s. economy. on the tokyo stock exchange the nikkei 225 is trading at its lowest level this year due to growing concerns that the stronger yen may hurt the performance of japanese exporters. the nikkei ended the session at 9,105.2. that's down 187 points, about 2%, from wednesday's close. and that wraps up this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. do stay with us. we'll be back at the top of the