What goes up must come down: Shares in Tokyo fell almost 2% on Monday, continuing to erase last year’s runaway gains.
The benchmark Nikkei has tumbled 10.3% so far this year. That means the index is now undergoing a correction, after posting a whopping 57% gain in 2013 — its biggest annual rise in over 40 years.
Market sentiment has become shaky as investors pull out of emerging markets now that the Fed has started to scale back its bond buying program. That has boosted the yen, as some investors look to relocate their money in traditional safe havens.
The currency has gained more than 3% against the dollar since hitting a 5-year low of 105.4 last month. That’s bad news for Japanese shares as it makes it more challenging for exporters to sell goods.
On top of that, emerging markets are facing a grab bag of political risks. Over the weekend, ongoing political protests stalled elections in Thailand.