Japan's stock markets started a new financial year with a plunge on Monday as export-linked issues were pulled down by a strong yen and as investors sold shares to lock in quick profits after recent gains.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 262.89 points, or 2.12 per cent, to end at 12,135.02 after rising 7.25 per cent in March.
The broader-based Topix index was down 34.14 points, or 3.3 per cent, at 1,000.57 after gaining 6.05 per cent in March.
Confidence among large Japanese manufacturers rose in March for the first time in three quarters amid a global economic recovery and the yen's fall, the Bank of Japan's Tankan survey showed.
The index for the quarterly survey climbed 4 points from December to minus 8, the survey showed.
The figure was slightly below the average forecast of minus 7 predicted by economists in a poll conducted by the Kyodo News agency.
On currency markets at 3 pm (0600 GMT), the dollar traded at 93.88-90 yen, down from Friday's 5 pm quote of 94.03-05 yen.
The euro was quoted at 120.07-10 yen, down from 120.46-50 yen late Friday, and at 1.2790-2792 dollars, down from 1.2811-2813 dollars.
A strong yen makes Japanese goods more expensive overseas and erodes repatriated revenues.
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