Today is Japan’s first day of trading in 2014, and it’s down about 1.5%.
This is part of a theme which is that of a rough start for Asian markets in the limited trading we’ve seen so far this year.
From Mike O’Rourke of JonesTrading:
First, there is the weakness in equities, most notably Asia. In a couple of trading days, Korea and Hong Kong lost 3.5%, meanwhile Thailand is down 6.6%. Most of the major European markets are down in the range of 2%-2.5%. US equities continue their outperformance but their ascent has halted. Treasury Yields are continuing to rise, but the notable exception is peripheral Europe where yields are approaching multi-month (if not multi-year) lows. The equity markets in these countries began to exhibit signs of life in the second half of last year, now the bond markets are joining the party. If this trend continues, the next phase will be for the flight to quality bid to fade from German bonds. Although German yields have risen with global rates, there is still significantly more normalization necessary for investors to fully regain confidence.