Stock: Tusday's review
Japan’s shares tumbled, with the Nikkei 225 Stock Average and Topix index suffering their third- worst daily declines in history, on record trading volume as concern grew about the safety of nuclear plants damaged by the country’s worst earthquake.
Tokyo Electric Power Co., Asia’s biggest power generator, plummeted by the daily limit of 25 percent after the company confirmed an explosion at a third reactor and a fire at a fourth today at its nuclear plant in Fukushima, north of Tokyo. Hitachi Ltd., which provides nuclear power generation systems, plunged 13 percent. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s largest bank by market value, at one point declined to the lowest since its listing in Tokyo.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 11 percent to 8,605.15 at the market close in Tokyo, the lowest since April 2009.
The Nikkei 225 has fallen 21 percent from its high this year on Feb. 21.
European stocks slumped the most in four months as concern grew that a Japanese nuclear power plant damaged by last week’s earthquake will leak radiation.
Carmakers and chemical shares led losses on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index as all 19 industry groups lost at least 1.5 percent. Utilities E.ON AG (EOAN) and RWE AG (RWE) sank more than 2 percent, while renewable-energy companies rallied as Germany said it will halt its seven oldest nuclear reactors as part of a safety review. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) led a selloff in basic-resource shares as metal prices retreated.
Chemical shares and carmakers led declines in Europe, with both industry groups falling more than 3 percent. Renault SA (RNO), which has a 43 percent stake in Japan’s Nissan Motor Co., lost 1.6 percent to 37.55 euros. Volkswagen AG (VOW), Europe’s largest carmaker, retreated 3.8 percent to 108.95 euros, the lowest price in four months. BASF SE (BAS), the world’s biggest chemical company, slid 4 percent to 55.46 euros, while Rhodia SA (RHA), a French specialty chemicals maker, lost 3.2 percent to 19.01 euros.
U.S. stocks tumbled, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to a two-month low, amid concern that Japan’s worst earthquake on record and a nuclear crisis near Tokyo may derail the global economic recovery.
General Electric Co. (GE), which is in talks to sell reactors to India, fell 3.2 percent. Alcoa Inc. (AA) and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. slumped at least 1.8 percent as commodity prices fell amid speculation demand will slow. Intel Corp. (INTC) dropped 3.6 percent after Nomura Holdings Inc. cut its recommendation for the world’s largest chipmaker. Aflac Inc. (AFL), the insurance company which gets most of its revenue in Japan, sank 7
The S&P 500 has fallen 1.8 percent over the past two days, paring this year’s gain to 1.9 percent. The benchmark gauge for American equities had risen 92 percent from its bear-market low in March 2009 through yesterday amid government stimulus measures and as corporate earnings beat analysts’ estimates for eight straight quarters.