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Nikkei briefly plunges over 14% on panic-selling over nuke plant woes.

TOKYO, March 15 Kyodo

The Nikkei stock average plummeted more than 14 percent at one point Tuesday on panic-selling spurred by deepening troubles at a quake-hit nuclear plant.

The 225-Nikkei Stock Average tumbled 1,392.86 points, or nearly 14.5 percent, to 8,227.63 at 1:10 p.m.

The index recouped some of the losses later, fetching 8,498.25, down 1,122.24 points, or 11.67 percent at 1:51 p.m.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange briefly suspended trading of Topix futures contracts for June due to the plunge.

Stocks tumbled in the afternoon after shedding more than 6 percent in the morning as investors fled from assets considered risky on reports of further malfunctions at a nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.

The market has already been pressured by concerns over the adverse economic impact of the major earthquake and tsunami that disrupted businesses in Japan, but the nuclear concern added to the crisis, brokers said.

In the latest development at the plant, radiation is feared to have leaked after a reactor container suffered damage.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Mar 21, 2011
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