Tokyo stocks suffered their biggest one-day drop this year on Monday, losing 2.78 percent amid investor concern over the eurozone following the defeat of ruling parties in French and Greek elections.
The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange ended the session down 261.11 points at 9,119.14.
Finance Minister Jun Azumi said the government is monitoring the currency market to prevent speculative moves by traders looking to benefit from political uncertainty in Europe, indicating possible interventions by Tokyo to stem the rise of the yen.
“I think there is a possibility the results of elections (in France and Greece) have amounted to some destabilizing factors, pushing stock prices lower,” Azumi told reporters.
In other Asian markets Monday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 2.6 percent to close at 20,536.59, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 2.2 percent to 4,301.30 and South Korea’s Kospi shed 1.6 percent to 1,956.44.