Nikkei plunges in early trade
Employees of the Tokyo Stock Exchange look at an electric stock quotation board at the bourse in Tokyo on 24 May.

Asian markets opened mixed on a day when the Japanese Nikkei dropped 4% in opening trade, before cutting its losses on a third straight day of volatile trade. Japanese equities suffered when the yen gained strength and amid concerns about volatile Japanese government bonds.

Japan's Nikkei lost 2.7% or 402.21 points to 14210.24 after tanking 7% on 23 May.

China's Shanghai composite index inched up 0.01% or 0.23 points to 2288.76. China, the world's second largest economy, is a major export market for Japan.

Australia's S&P/ASX was down 0.6% or 32.30 points to 4951.20, pulled down by the resources and financial sector.

South Korea's Kospi was up 0.4% or 8.10 points to 1981.55, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.2% or 50.70 points to 22669.80.

Wall Street too suffered a third day of losses on 24 May. The S&P 500 ended lower at 0.06%, while the Nasdaq closed lower by 0.01%. Equities in the world's biggest economy were pulled down by news that the Federal Reserve could decrease its asset buys as early as June.

Japanese exporters' shares were down after the US dollar fell below 101 yen level in early trade. The yen was trading at 101.06 at 2:00 p.m. Japanese time.

In Tokyo, Fuji Heavy Industries plunged 5.9%, Olympus lost 4.6% while Fast Retailing was down 3.7%.

Concerns about bond-market volatility pulled down financial stocks, which hold a sizeable amount of Japanese government bonds (JGBs). Dai-ichi Life Insurance fell 4.9%, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. Mizuho Financial Group were down 1% each.

But South Korean automotive firms gained on expectations that a stronger yen would help them compete better vis-a-vis their Japanese rivals.

Hyundai Motor moved up 1.7% while Kia Motors rose 1.6%.

In Australia, mining shares were down on concerns over weaker demand from China. Iron-ore miner Fortescue Metals Group dropped 2.8%, while Rio Tinto lost 1.9%.

Westpac Banking dipped 0.9%, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia lost 0.7%. Telecoms giant Telstra lost 0.6%.