an markets sunk on Tuesday after European bank stocks sent investors running to so-called safe haven assets.
Japanese stock market the Nikkei dropped 5.4%, its worst one-day drop since June 2013. Investors choose instead to park their money in gold, which surged to its highest value since June, and other assets.
Japanese government bond yields also slumped, turning negative for the first time.
Bond prices have climbed since the Bank of Japan’s shock decision to adopt negative interest rates on January 29.
Markets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea were closed for the Chinese New Year holidays, with most returning to business on Wednesday.
Easting monetary policy should weaken a currency, but the move has had the opposite effect in Japan, pushing the value of the yen higher against the dollar.
The yen surged to its highest against the dollar in 15 months on Tuesday, prompting Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso to warn that its rise was unstable.
“It is clear that recent moves in the market have been rough. We will continue to carefully monitor developments in the currency market,” Aso said.
It’s that time of the year! Avail 80(D) Tax Benefit
Ashiana’s Senior Living- Age is just a number
Ashiana Senior Living
Recommended By Colombia
Kaneo Ogino, director at foreign exchange research firm Global-info Co in Tokyo, described it as a “panic situation”.
Falling oil prices, fears over slowing economic growth and uncertainty over the US Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates have weighed on international stock markets since January. Those worries show no signs of abating in February.
Indian stocks are also in turmoil.
SEE ALL COMMENTSADD COMMENT
“The combination of concerns that the United States could be heading toward a recession and the global stock sell-off is curbing risk appetite and is sending investors to the safe-haven yen,” Takuya Takahashi, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities, told Kyodo News.
European markets showed resilience, however, and opened higher on Tuesday, with the FTSE 100 up 0.5%, the German DAX up 0.2% and the French CAC 40 up 0.18%.