Bad news has caused the euro to sink to record lows against the yen. Fears that Spain could soon need a bailout have raised concerns about ripple effects on the entire eurozone.
The euro has tumbled to its lowest level in almost 12 years against the yen amid concerns that Spain's debt problems may deepen.
The European single currency hit its lowest level against the yen since November 2000 on the Asian markets, trading at 94.51-54 yen, down from 96.41-45 yen.
A stronger yen makes Japanese goods more expensive overseas, damaging exports.
The drop in the euro was fueled by fears that Spain, the eurozone's fourth largest economy, will be unable to stave off a sovereign bailout after two indebted regions sought financial assistance from the federal government.
Spanish regions request aid
Spain's Valencia region on Friday requested financial aid from Madrid, and over the weekend Murcia announced that it would follow suit. Media reported that half a dozen other regional governments were also ready to do the same.
As a consequence, the Spanish 10-year government bond yield shot up to 7.32 percent, a level considered to be unsustainable in the long term.
Analysts fear that the contagion might spread and hit other large economies in the region.
The euro also reached record lows against the Australian and New Zealand currencies.
Asian shares also slid on Monday against the background of the eurozone debt problems.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average sank 1.86 percent, while the broader-based Topix index was down 1.8 percent.
Seoul's Kospi went down 1.8 percent, and the ASX 200 index in Australia also dropped, losing 1.7 percent.
European stock markets also fell at the start of trading Monday in the face of rising concerns over the eurozone debt crisis.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 dropped 1 percent to 5,651.67 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 also lost 1 percent to 6,561.87 points, and in Paris the CAC 40 shed 1.15 percent, dropping to 3,159.05.
tj/tm (Reuters, AFP, dpa)