The Nikkei stock index lost 1.43 percent Friday, relinquishing gains made the previous day, as investors switched into yen currency havens pushing its price up versus its major counterparts and impacting export and tech- related issues, following the Swiss National Bank (SNB)'s shock decision to remove its currency cap against the euro.
The Nikkei 225 fell 244.54 points to end the week at 16,864.16, having lost as much as 3 percent during trading hours, while the broader Topix index of all first-section shares was down 0.93 percent, or 12.87 points, to close at 1,363.73.
Brokers here said that global markets were taken by surprise by the Swiss National Bank's decision to abandon its three-year old 1. 20 Swiss francs per euro currency cap, which saw the Swiss currency climb more than 30 percent against the euro within minutes after the announcement.
The Swiss franc surged to 96 centimes per euro, having hit 85. 17 centimes, marking its strongest level since record keeping began.
Regarding the bank's cap, first introduced in September 2011, the bank said in a statement that the cap had previously, " protected the Swiss economy from serious harm, but isn't necessary any longer."