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Tokyo: Nikkei index slumps more than 3% at open

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[TOKYO] Tokyo stocks tumbled at the start of trade on Monday, following losses on Wall Street as a surging yen hurt exporters after trading resumed following a public holiday.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange slumped 3.37 per cent, or 562.10 points, to 16,103.95 shortly after the opening bell, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares lost 3.18 per cent, or 42.68 points, to 1,297.87.

The sell-off comes after the Bank of Japan (BoJ) on Thursday surprised markets by holding off fresh stimulus, sending the yen soaring.

Markets had widely expected new measures to counter a downturn in the world's number-three economy.

"We expect short-term share market volatility to remain high," Shane Oliver, the Sydney-based head of investment strategy AMP Capital Investors, told Bloomberg News.

"Failure by the BoJ to do more soon risks unwinding all the progress on inflation expectations seen under Abenomics, particularly with the yen breaking to ever higher levels."

In forex markets on Monday, the dollar edged higher to 106.44 yen from 106.31 yen on Friday in New York. But the greenback was down sharply from 108.58 yen in Tokyo in the wake of the BoJ meeting on Thursday.

The yen's surge has put downward pressure on Japan's export giants since it reduces the value of overseas profits.

Tokyo equity markets will be closed again for public holidays from Tuesday to Thursday this week.

AFP