Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Friday, March 11, 2011

Japan earthquake hits global markets

The earthquake struck just before the close of Tokyo stock trading, sending the benchmark Nikkei 225 index tumbling 1.7pc to a five-week low.

Other Asian stock markets reacted badly with Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropping 1.8pc and South Korea's Kospi sliding 1.3pc.

Asian shares had been down earlier with higher-that-expected inflation data in China, jitters over eurozone debts after Moody's downgraded Spain, and unrest in Saudi Arabia weighing on sentiment.

In London, the FTSE 100 saw its worst weekly performance in eight months, as it dropped 0.3pc on Friday to 5828.67 points, with insurers such as RSA Group and Prudential a down a couple of percent as investors remain risk averse. The index is now below where is started the year.

On the Continent large reinsurers such as Swiss Re, Hannover Re and Munich Re were all down, with bourses in Germany and France sliding by around 1pc.

Wall Street, where the Dow Jones tumbled 1.87pc on Thursday, opened lower in a choppy morning session after a survey showed consumer sentiment fell to its lowest level in five months as petrol prices rose. (read more)