Tokyo markets drop on more nuclear concerns, slow sales
Tokyo equities markets were lower Monday on more nuclear concerns, this time over a power plant in an area where a study said a large earthquake could occur soon, geologically speaking.
The Nikkei 225 dropped 0.66 percent to 9,794.38 and the Topix index dropped 0.38 percent to 853.21, although the Mothers market managed to add 0.01 percent to 473.5.
Chubu Electric Power (TYO: 9502) dropped 10 percent after Japan’s Prime Minister asked it to shut its Hamaoka nuclear power plant after a study by the government there found an 87 percent chance that an earthquake of magnitude 8 is likely to hit the area where the plant is located within 30 years, while another electric utility, Tohoku Electric (TYO: 9506) was down 2.1 percent after a media report that it will say it took a loss in its fiscal year that ended in March.
Elswhere in Tokyo markets, a retailer and a manufacturer of both motorcycles and musical instruments were lower on declines in sales, while a brewer declined on damages related to the 11 March earthquake in northern Japan.
Most other markets in Asia and the Pacific region saw gains, with India’s Sensex up 0.05 percent to 18,529 while Australia’s markets were higher as the S&P/ASX200 was up 0.29 percent to 4,756.8 and the Sydney Ordinaries gained 0.32 percent to 4,831.7, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.3 percent to 2,872.46, Taiwan’s Taiex added 0.65 percent to 8,035.48, the Hang Seng was 0.76 percent higher to 23,336 in Hong Kong, and the Straits Times Index gained 1.21 percent to 3,136.94 in Singapore, but South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.39 percent to 2,139.17.
European equities markets were lower Monday as banks declined after Standard & Poor’s cut Greece’s credit rating from B to BB minus with the possibility of more cuts, renewing concerns about debt problems in parts of the region.
The FTSE 100 was down 0.57 percent to 5,942.69 in London, while the FTSE 250 dropped 0.09 percent to 11,896.1, with banks there following other European banks lower while utilities, airlines and travel agents were also lower, miners and the energy sector were mixed, most in the telecommunications sector saw gains, most retailers were lower but consumer electronics retailers were higher, and software groups were up.
The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.43 percent to 1,140.04 while the Dax fell 1.09 percent to 7,410.52, the CAC-40 was 1.25 percent lower to 4,007.26 and the IBEX dropped 2.02 percent to 10,396.3.
New York equities markets were up in early afternoon trade even though banks there were also lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.44 percent to 12,694.4 while the S&P 500 had added 0.45 percent to 1,346.29 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.55 percent higher to 2,843.13.
Crude oil prices were up significantly, with June contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude up $3.55 per barrel at midday in New York while Brent crude was $4.18 per barrel higher in the latest reports from London, while metals prices were also higher after last week’s big decline.