Tokyo: Tokyo stocks opened 1.56 percent lower on Monday after the safe-haven yen soared on weekend news that Cyprus would have to tax bank customers' deposits as part of an EU bailout deal. The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange was down 195.51 points to 12,365.44 at the start.
The euro fell to $1.2888 and 122.31 yen in early Asian trade Monday from $1.3075 and 124.61 yen in New York Friday afternoon. The dollar dropped to 94.84 yen from 95.26 yen. As a condition for a desperately-needed 10-billion-euro ($13 billion) bailout for Cyprus, fellow eurozone countries and international creditors Saturday imposed a levy on all deposits in the island's banks.
Cyprus bank customers have voiced dismay and anger that they alone of the five eurozone member countries forced to seek bailouts so far were being expected to help foot the bill. President Nicos Anastasiades said Sunday that the controversial bank levy on private depositors was the "least painful" option for the recession-hit island.
Deposits of more than 100,000 euros will be hit with a 9.9 percent charge, while under that threshold the levy drops to 6.75 percent. US stocks fell Friday, bringing the Dow's 10-day winning streak to a halt as a decline in a key consumer sentiment index highlighted continuing weaknesses in the economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 25.03 points or 0.17 percent to 14,514.11, the first time in nine days it did not set a fresh record.