Japan Stocks Tumble Over Greek News

By Michael KitchenMarketWatch Pulse

Japanese stocks thudded lower Monday morning, as odds for Greek debt default rose over the weekend, with Athens announcing a referendum on its bailout terms. The Nikkei Stock Average plunged 2.3% in the opening minutes, with the Topix down 2.6%. The yen rallied on safe-haven buying as investors streamed out of the euro, with the dollar dropping to �123.05 from �123.87 on Friday, though off its lows below the �123 handle. Companies with large exposure to the European market saw their shares hit especially hard, with Mazda Motor Corp. , for instance, dropping 4.9%. Likewise, banking stocks began pricing in the resulting volatility across the markets for forex, bonds and other asset classes. Among the top financial shares, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. fell 3.5%, Mizuho Financial Group Inc. retreated 4.2% and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. surrendered 3.6%.

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