Japanese stocks fell more than three per cent on Thursday on a stronger yen and mounting fears over debt problems in Europe. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 361.71 points, or 3.27 per cent, to close at 10,695.69 while the broader Topix index was down 30.32 points, or 3.07 per cent, to end the day at 956.72. Investors’ fears over the Greek debt crisis grew as protests against tough budget cuts in Greece turned violent. Three people died when a bank was set on fire.

In Tokyo, exporters with a high exposure to the eurozone were dragged down as the yen climbed against the euro. Financial markets in Tokyo were closed from Monday to Wednesday for national holidays.

On currency markets at 3 pm (0600 GMT), the dollar traded at 93.84—87 yen, down from Friday’s 5 pm quote of 94.16—19 yen.

The euro traded at 1.2831—2834 dollars, down from 1.3293—3296 dollars Friday, and at 120.42—45 yen, down from 125.17—20 yen. A stronger yen makes Japanese exports less competitive abroad and hurts overseas earnings when the revenues are repatriated.

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