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Market Update

Nikkei Down on Tepco Delisting Worries; Radiation Fears at Fukushima

Author: Nigel Thomas
Last Update: 6:34 AM ET March 29 2011

5:00 PM Tokyo Stocks in Tokyo opened sharply lower on lingering radiation leak worries. Tepco said higher level of toxic plutonium was found at the troubled nuclear power plant. Government denied the speculation that Tepco is likely to be nationalized but the stock of the utility dropped 18% to record low.

Stocks in Tokyo trading fell sharply after radiation leak worries mounted and several nations in Asia and America cited higher levels of radiation but said they were not harmful.

Tokyo Electric Power Company said that higher level of toxic plutonium was found in the compound of Fukushima nuclear reactor.

The lingering worries of the wider nuclear radiation leak was exacerbated after a report in Yomiuri Shimbun noted several government officials are considering temporary nationalization of Tepco for reconstruction.

However, at a press conference Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano denied that any government entity is looking to nationalize the company.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 0.2% or 19.45 to 9,459.08 and the broader Topix index fell 0.9% or 7.64 to 850.21.

The yen in Tokyo trading closed at 80.91 to a dollar.

Stock Movers

Trading volume on Tokyo Stock Exchange declined to 2.9 billion shares near its last two week average of 3.3 billion shares.

Tokyo Electric Power declined its daily limit of 130 yen or 18.7% to 566 yen to the lowest price on record as investors feared the delisting of the largest utility company in Asia.

Mizuho Financial Group declined 6% to 140 yen after the company was investigated by the Financial Service Agency at its banking unit after system break down few days ago.

Insurance companies declined on the worries that de-listed Tepco may hurt valuations of holdings.

Dai-ichi Life declined 5.2% to 118,400 yen and Mitsui Financial Group dropped 2.9% to 2,623 yen.

Toyota Motor Corp declined 40 yen or 1.2% to 3,255 yen and Nissan Motor Ltd fell 0.1% to 704 yen. Honda Motor Co. Ltd increased 0.8% to 3,065 yen.

Sony Corp increased 0.5% to 2,613 yen and Canon Inc increased 0.9% to 3,570 yen.

Kajima Corp declined 1.2% to 241 yen and Tomoe Corp fell 2.5% to 343 yen.

Fast Retailing Co. Ltd increased 1.1% to 10,320 yen.

Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc