Nikkei Plunges 3.34 Percent as Yen Surge Spooks Investors

Japanese stocks plunged 3.34 percent Monday, extending a slide for a fifth day that was sparked by last week's plunge in Chinese and U.S. stock markets. Exporters were hit hardest on the yen's recent rally.

Other Asian markets also tumbled Monday, with stocks in Hong Kong, mainland China, the Philippines, Australia and India all declining sharply.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index fell 575.68 points, or 3.34 percent, to finish at 16,642.25 points on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

• Get all the buzz on the market in's Investing Center.

Since climbing to its highest in nearly seven years last Monday, the index has slid 1,573.10 points, or 8.64 percent over the last five trading sessions.

Exporters fell amid a surge in the yen, which erodes overseas earnings when repatriated to Japan. The dollar fell to 115.60 yen at 2:50 p.m. from 116.75 yen late Friday in New York and above 120 yen less than a week ago.

Canon Inc. shed 2.08 percent at 6,130 yen ($53.02) and Toyota Motor Corp. fell 3.24 percent, to 7,460 yen ($64.53). Sony Corp. was down 2.92 percent at 5,660 yen ($48.96).

Traders also said losses were magnified by speculative selling from foreign and domestic hedge funds.

"Everything came at once," said Hitoshi Yamamoto, president of Commerz International Capital Management, referring to the jump in the yen, growing worries about an increase in selling related to the settlement of futures and options contracts and declines in U.S. stocks.

The broader Topix index, which includes all shares on the exchange's first section, fell 58.88 points, or 3.42 percent, to 1,662.71 points.

The euro fell to $1.3170 from $1.3191.

Visit's Investing page.