Thursday, March 17, 2011
Japan's nuclear crisis makes financial markets head
The fears about a nuclear crisis worsened in Japan on Tuesday hit global financial markets, which dragged down shares and other investments to close on low.
Japan's stock market lost 10% of its value and Wall Street witnessed a sharp fall to catch up before the close.
The main stock index in Japan, Nikkei 225, fell to its lowest level in nearly two years after the country's prime minister announced that four nuclear reactors located in the devastated coast of the country were releasing dangerous amounts of radiation.
In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted almost 300 points at the start of trading.
Meanwhile, in the futures market, which can serve as an indicator of the stock performance, the picture before the start of trading was so horrible that Wall Street had to invoke a special rule for facing the volatility.
The Dow regained some ground late in the day but ended down by 138 units more than 1%.
"It's a situation in which one sells first and asks questions later," said Peter Cardillo, one of the leading economists of the brokerage firm based Avalon Partners in New York.
Investors sold shares primarily because of fears that the disaster in Japan could slow the global economy. Japan is the third largest economy in the world, which makes chips for products from computers to cars and acquires 10% of U.S. exports.
This fateful day occurs less than a week that marks the second anniversary of when the stock reached its lowest level after the 2008 financial crisis. The shares nearly doubled in value since March 9, 2009.
The Dow Jones closed down 137.74 points, or 1.1% up to 11,855.42 units.
In other concerning the market also witnessed low. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 14.52 points to the 1281.87 drives. The 10 types of companies that comprise the index finished falling.
Services companies suffered the worst casualties, to depreciate by 1.9% to raise concerns that the disaster in Japan led other countries to reconsider plans to install nuclear power plants.
Meanwhile, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury, which serves as a reference point and moves in the opposite direction of its price, fell from 3.36% to 3.32% on Tuesday.
Oil prices fell four U.S. dollars up to $ 97.18 a barrel, its lowest level in the past two weeks due to an expected decline in oil demand in Japan, the third largest importer.