Tokyo stocks plunged sharply in the first trading day of 2014 on Monday as investors cashed in on recent gains after a yearend rally.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average slumped 382.43 points, or 2. 35 percent, from Dec. 30, 2013 to end at 15,908.88, the first time in six years that it has finished the first trading day of a year in minus territory
The point fall on Monday was the biggest since Oct. 25.
The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange ended down 10.14 points, or 0.78 percent, at 1,292.15.
Analysts said that market players were eager to lock in recent gains after Nikkei surged about 7.5 pct in a nine-day rally through Dec. 30 to its highest ending level since November 2007.
The Nikkei index rocketed 57 percent last year, its biggest annual gain since 1972.
Cash-in took upper hand as a series of technical charts have showed that the market is overheating, said analysts here.
A stronger yen also cast shadow over export-oriented issues as the yen's advance eats into the issues dollar earnings overseas when repatriated.
The U.S. dollar changed hand at lower 104 yen level Monday afternoon from the 105 yen threshold seen late last year, while the euro was quoted at upper 141 yen level.
On Monday, decliners were led by mining, marine transport, and information and technology sectors.
Advancing issues surpassed declining ones 906 to 761 on the First Section, while 108 finished unchanged. While high-prided large capitalization shares drew selling, incentive-backed small cap shares remained firm.
Recent major advancers succumbed to selling in particular, with Fast Retailing, a heavily weighted Nikkei component, tumbling 2, 500 yen, or 5.8 percent, to 40,900 yen.
Softbank slipped 320 yen, or 3.5 percent, to 8,880 yen, while Toyota Motor dropped 120 yen, or 1.9 percent, to 6,300 yen after rising for the fourth straight day.
Fujikura Rubber shot up by the daily limit of 300 yen, or 29.4 percent, to 1,320 yen, remaining on its recent uptrend triggered by an announcement that a research team involving the company succeeded in a key experiment to develop a new type of battery using magnesium in sea water.
Trading volume on the main section came to 2,924.82 million shares, compared with 2,910.16 million shares on Dec. 30.
Japan's financial markets had been closed since Dec. 31 for year-end and New Year holidays.The turnover was about 2,628.1 billion yen (about 25.17 billion U.S. dollars).